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Scientists Find a Way to Destroy Blood Clots With Laser Beam

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A team of physicists from the US, Germany and Russia have devised a method of detecting blood clotting with the help of a laser beam, RIA Novosti reported, citing an article carried by the latest issue of PLOS ONE scientific journal.

“We have demonstrated how you can detect blood clots using  photoacoustic flow-cytometry. We will potentially be able to destroy them right away, but this requires additional research,” Alexander Melerzanov, a senior fellow at Moscow’s Institute of Physics and Technology, told RIA.

Formation of clots in the blood stream is the main cause of strokes and heart attacks. Breaking loose in the bloodstream they can clog arteries often resulting in a patient’s death.

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Melerzanov and his university colleagues in Arkansas (US) and Frankfurt (Germany) have learned to keep an eye on these potentially deadly blood clots with the help of the so-called photoacoustic flow-cytometry.

The new method involves irradiating fluorescent dye-labeled cells with a laser beam and introducing them into the human body. The introduced cells emit light on their own wavelength, which is then picked up by a lens and mirror system and subsequently decomposed with the help of a laser beam.

Alexander Melerzanov said that even though this technique cannot yet be used in large arteries in real time, it still allows to detect the appearance of “runaway” clots during and after operations, including with cancer patients.

This inspires hope that the new method will someday help prevent thrombosis-related complications at early stages of their formation, RIA Novosti wrote.

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