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.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.