The swirling lines in this picture, which look like electrical wires, are actually a computer simulation of the blood flowing through a vessel in the body. They've been created using the same kind of computer modelling programmes that engineers use to analyse airflow around aeroplanes, helping to make them more aerodynamic and efficient. Shifting from blue skies to bloodstream, these smaller scale models are helping to improve treatment for patients with kidney failure, who have to have their blood 'cleaned' regularly by hooking themselves up to a dialysis machine through a vein in their arm. By figuring out exactly how blood is flowing in vessels, researchers can design more effective dialysis techniques that reduce disruption to the patient's blood supply and keep their blood flowing smoothly.
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.