Heart of Glass: The Art of Medical Models
Gary Farlow can make art out of arteries. He and his team of 10 at Farlow’s Scientific Glassblowing are able to transform the body’s vasculature—and nearly all of its other parts—into an ornate borosilicate glass sculpture, from the heart’s ventricles to the brain’s circle of Willis. “We do almost every part of the body,” Farlow says. “It can take a pretty artistic mind to make some of these things.” With the help of cardiologists, the team creates custom see-through systems for science and medical training. Their anatomically correct models can be designed to simulate blood flow, teach placement of catheters and angioplasty devices, or simply test or demo new surgical gizmos. Individual arteries, veins, and capillaries are shaped and fused together, one at a time. Ground-glass joints are added at the exposed ends so a head, say, can be connected to the carotid arteries should customers want to expand their model. A full-body setup could cost $25,000, so don’t get any bright ideas about using one as a brandy decanter.
(Source: sagansense, via aspiringdoctors)
Angiogram. Before and after treatment for ischemic stroke
There are several things in medicine that I’m pretty convinced are just plain magic, no science involved. tPA is one of them. I mean, you go from being stroked out to back to normal in a matter of minutes if it works. That has to be magic, right?No.
Alteplase works by attaching to the fibrin in abnormal blood clots, such as those in the arteries supplying the heart or brain. It then activates the production of plasmin, which causes the clots to disintegrate. This unblocks the blood vessel and allows blood flow to resume to the affected organ.
100% science. Because science is fucking bad ass.
Lavender Lotus Brain - original watercolor painting by Michele Banks (artologica on etsy)
“This painting draws together images from neuroscience (neural connections in the brain) and Buddhism (the lotus), to express the blissful aura of the well-meditated brain. Recent scientific research indicates that the practice of meditation produces physical changes in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. Although it’s highly unlikely that meditating on the truth in the lotus will actually cause your neurons to look like this, it’s a fun idea to express artistically. In soft, soothing shades of lavender, purple and deep rose on a background of pale periwinkle blue.”