ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Brain aneurysm tool. Guglielmi Detachable Coil (GDC) tool, used to treat brain aneurysms. A brain aneurysm is a dangerous swelling in a brain blood vessel. The GDC, a coiled wire, is introduced into the brain aneurysm using the catheter (blue tube, centre right). A small electric current is used to detach the coil and activate it. The coil causes blood in the aneurysm to clot. More coils can be added until the whole aneurysm has clotted. Eventually, the original blood vessel reforms its wall and the aneurysm has been successfully treated. This technique is an alternative to direct surgery.
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