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Like the Prometheus “Pups,” Now Doctors Can Map Your Esophagus

Remember that scene in Prometheus where the scientist guy takes those silver balls from his backpack and started “mapping” the inside of the crazy alien mound thing?

Prometheus pupsWell, watch this:

This is the work of the good folks at Massachusetts General Hospital — you’re looking at a pill-sized, tethered endoscope that the docs can use to create a scan of the inside of your esophagus!  That is some pretty amazing stuff!  I think this is also a great time to say that Mass General also won the #1 Hospital in the US award from US News and World Report!  This is important to me, especially given the source of the little pill-sized endoscope.  This didn’t come from a company that does this for a living, this came from a hospital.  To me, this is huge news!  This is a hospital solving a problem that needed solving.

From the article at Nature magazine, posted in January:

Now, researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston have invented a tethered, pill-sized endoscope that that allows doctors to construct an image of a person’s esophagus in microscopic detail within a few minutes—and all without anesthesia, intense training or causing pain. Their work was published today in Nature Medicine.

“A lot of people have reflux but don’t feel the pain of heartburn,” says MGH pathologist Gary Tearney, who led the study. These patients are at high risk for developing cancer, because they usually have no reason to get their esophagus inspected. “[Our device] really opens up screening to many more people,” Tearney says.

The new experimental endomicroscope device looks like a penny-sized, clear plastic pill, attached to a long piano wire that runs to a computer console. It can be swallowed with a cup of water. Because it is tethered, the pill can then be sent up and down the length of the esophagus, where it scans and generates an image.

The device works via optical frequency domain imaging (OFDI), a technique similar to ultrasound but using infrared light. The researchers first generate a beam of light, and then split it into two with mirrors. One beam is sent into a detector where it serves as a reference; the other is sent through the tether, into the pill, where it is directed into the tissue.

In the esophagus, the light beam is focused on an area roughly the diameter of a human hair and then spun around axially 20 times per second. Like in ultrasounds, the properties of the light after it reflects off tissue can be measured. When it is sent back to a detector and compared with the reference beam, the difference between the two can be used to reconstruct a thin cross section of the esophagus in microscopic detail. By stacking these cross-sections together, researchers can create a three-dimensional image of the esophagus in a method similar to CT scan reconstructions.

pill-sized-endoscope

Have you ever had an endoscopic procedure?  Like the ones where they stick the camera down your throat or even maybe a colonoscopy, where they go in the back way?  Let me tell you — I’ve had both, and they both f****ng suck sh** through a tube, and hard.  Consider that when you think of this pill-sized endoscope.  This thing can be swallowed by the patient with little or no anasthesia, long procedures, or even pain from the patient.  This is absolutely awesome.  Finally, something that allows doctors to grab a 3D scan of your esophagus without being in pain while it’s happening.

Check out some awesome images of this pill!  This first image, the sort-of schematic, is actually huge, just click on it:

nm.3052-F1

An image of the device’s scan:nm.3052-F2

The pill itself:Pill_endoscope_web

An image of the pill being held by a technician, showing the size and scale of the device:Pill_endoscope2_web

If you want to see the entire abstract, which is awesome, go here and check it out!

Thanks, Prometheus, BioOpticsWorld, and Nature!

WHOA! Timor Steffens Video Mapping for AMSTEL LIVE!

HOLY MOLY! Watch THIS:

That’s an Amstel Live 2012 video mapping dance interactive visual orgasm act featuring Timor Stephens.  HOLY SH*T!  Did you see how wonderfully the LED suits were programmed along with the other automated lighting and projections?!  I was mesmerized by those suits.  I had to find out more – they’re from a company called iLuminate.  They’ve been doing light-up suits all over the place!  Check out iLuminate’s video reel:

The production company is Tribe Company BV, and the rental company was a subsidiary of PRG, EML Productions Holland.  Beautiful work, EML!  The dancers are Timor Steffens, Alexandria Kaye, Catalina Paz Rendic Vasquez, Jonathan William Rabon, and Brandon Barton.  GREAT work!

I grabbed this image from Tribe Company‘s website of the Amstel Live setup, it’s such a great picture:

GAH!  This is AWESOMENESS!  Happy Monday, everyone!  What an awesome way to start it up!

Uppsala, Sweden – Projection Mapping

My good friend Gustavo Vasquez from Mexico City (and currently, Stockholm, Sweden – finishing his Master’s at KTH) sent me this unbelievably cool video of some architectural projection mapping in Uppsala, during the Lighting Festival that occurs in Uppsala, Sweden.

On the video:

“Uppsala castle courtyard is the place where past and future meet. With the help of today’s technology transforms the facade for something completely different. We asked the graphic artist Andrew Cutting Berg trying to get a part of the palace facade to release its centuries of history and for a moment transformed during the long, dark month of November .
The technology used is liquid-cooled encapsulated projectors on either 10 000 ansilumen mounted in heated sheds from Ramirent.

Stage Technologies AVL AB – idea, project management and project supplier
Grafala – animations
Ramirent – delivered the sheds

Happy Monday, folks!

Let This Bell Tower Rock Your Face

Good morning, everybody!

I woke up this morning before the sun’s alarm went off, and the lights of the city were still gleaming beautifully.  It put me in such an amazing mood.  I hope that I can pass some of this great mood onto you all this morning!

Here’s a start – check out this clock tower, smack in the center of Prague, that just celebrated its 600th birthday.  Mapping company Macula mapped the clock with animations, while sound company Data-Live created the soundscape.  Tomato Production handled all of the site’s production needs.  Prepare to get rocked.

The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo.