A new procedure that could save millions of dollars annually in medical costs – and result in much better patient outcomes and satisfaction – was performed for the first time in the world this week at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
The procedure removed growths from the airway of a patient using new technology that allows the surgery to be done in the doctors office with the patient completely awake, and the patient to go home immediately afterward. In the past, this surgery required equipment that could be used only in the operating room with the patient under general anesthesia, and the patient was often required to spend the night in the hospital.
In the procedure this week, two different lasers were used: a carbon-dioxide (CO2) laser delivered by a newly developed hollow-core optical fiber, and a pulsed-dye laser delivered by standard solid optical fiber. Each is guided by a high-resolution video-endoscope, and the entire system is delivered to the patient through a tiny tube that is placed in the nose. It was the worlds first use of both lasers in an office-based procedure.
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Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
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