PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A surgeon preparing to perform a cardiac catheterisation. The catheter, about the same thickness as a fine fishing line, is passed into a vein in the patient's arm. The catheter is then fed through the blood vessels to the heart. The surgeon keeps track of the catheter's position using an x-ray video camera. A tiny pressure measuring device, micromenometer, is at the end of the catheter, and is used to take blood pressure readings at both sides of a heart valve. This microsensor device was made using the same technology as is used in the manufacture of silicon 'chips', allowing minute sensors to be built for such invasive diagnostic techniques.
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