New imaging technology developed by engineers at the University of Washington may allow scientists to analyze what occurs within the micrvascular system during dermal filler injections and help them to better manage complications. The fine-resolution technology produces 3-D images of the body's vascular network, visualizing blood vessels as small as five microns in diameter, by shining a light onto the tissue iwthout touching it or adding any fluorescent dyes. Using optical micro-angiography, researchers found and analyzed complications that arose when fillers were inadvertently injected into the bloodstream rather than the soft tissues of the face. The gel builds up in a vessel, blocking blood flow and oxygen exchange. After tests injecting fillers in the ears of mice, researchers confirmed injections into blood vessels are most likely the cause of tissue death. With this insight, physicians can try to reverse the effect of vascular blockage with hyaluronidase. Further testing on a variety of available applications of the technology include analyzing how wounds heal, tracking strokes and traumatic brain injuries, and imaging human eyes.
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