Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 10th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Smoking Vessels
15 February 2015

Smoking Vessels

You have tens of thousands of miles of blood vessels in your body, responsible for channelling blood cells deep into your organs to provide them with oxygen and nutrition. But just as the water pipes in a house can spring a leak if they're damaged or worn, our biological plumbing can become leaky too. Researchers are taking a closer look to work out how this happens. The red lines in this image are damaged blood vessels, and the smoke-like traces are the liquid leaking out of them. Leaky blood vessels are bad news and cause heart problems and other illnesses. And like water pooling on the floor from a broken pipe, faulty blood vessels lead to fluid collecting in the body – a condition known as oedema.

Written by Kat Arney

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