JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This illustration depicts an angioplasty system, a blood vessel plaque reduction and removal device, attached to a catheter and a guide wire. A tiny turbine advances the shaft and rotates the tip at up to 200,000 rpm. The micro device that rotates contains thousands of microscopic diamond crystals embedded in the tip. With every revolution of the tip, the plaque is broken up into particles that the body will naturally eliminate from the blood. In this illustration, the vessel affected is a branch of the right coronary artery.
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