JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This illustration depicts the fibers contained in a cell-saving machine that filters the blood during open heart surgery. The blood is taken out of the normal body circulation and cleansed through a series of filtration devices, the returned to the body. In this illustration the red blood cells at the lower right still carry nitrogen molecules on their surface, which are removed within the filtration fibers. Oxygen molecules (green) are introduced through mesh-like construction of the hollow fibers, and become fused to the red blood cells, effectively re-oxygenizing the blood.
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