Lasers are fairly common tools in the practice of medicine, used for anything from surgery to cauterizing wounds – but how would you feel about having a laser control the beating of your heart? Story in the full article.
Lasers do more than put holes in things and slice Double 0 agents in half, they also play a vital role in modern medicine, used for anything from surgery to cauterization of wounds. But how would you feel about a laser being aimed at your heart?
Lasers may be the future of pacemakers. Scientists in Japan have designed the world’s first optical pacemaker, which uses lasers that continuously blasts short laser pulses to control the beating of the heart. (Edgar Allan Poe will laugh his head off.)
The laser blasts a huge amount of power through the heart cells over short periods of time, stimulating the heart and causing it to contract. The downside is, since a laser is still a laser, the tech can have damaging effects to cells. Right now, the danger of cell damage limits the use of this new tech.
While the practical approach is a straightforward application in pacemakers (although that may still be a long time coming), the tech can also be applied to study the mechanism of how the heart muscle contracts. In the long term, the tech will help scientists understand heart beats on a cellular level.