Aneurysms, or the buildup in pressure of blood in one spot of a vein in the brain ,is a leading cause of strokes, with more than 30,000 cases being diagnosed every year, on average. Treatment of this condition has been limited, but a recent break though may change all that.
Researchers at the Livermore's Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program have been working with Davis Center for Biophotonics, Science, and Technology and UC Berkley to develop a new way to treat aneurysms and save lives.
They have developed a "Smart Foam", similar to memory foam used in pillows, which can return to its original shape despite being manipulated. It is also highly absorbent. The foam will be compressed down, then placed inside the stretched blood vessel, and used as a plug, to clot the existing blood and stop the aneurysm from bursting, while still allowing regular blood flow. The plugs are going to trials soon, and if they are successful they could reduce the risks associated with platinum coil treatments , which can get loose and begin to float free in the bloodstream.
Our Guest Blogger, Kate Gatto, is a technology fiend with a Masters in Information Systems and previous hospital experience working in a small community hospital and a regional trauma center.