Glossary of Terms

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A B C D E F G H I L M N O P R S T U X

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  • Perfusable

    The movement of fluid through blood vessels to a cell tissue or an organ, generally referring to blood.
  • Photon

    A particle of light or electromagnetic radiation. The energies of photons range from high-energy gamma rays and x-rays to low-energy radio waves.
  • Piezoelectric Crystals

    Crystals in the transducer of an ultrasound device that vibrate when an electric signal is applied, emitting high-frequency sound pressure waves. The crystals are the crucial component of an ultrasound device both producing and detecting the ultrasound waves used to image structures inside of the body.
  • Point-of-Care

    Testing and treating of patients at sites close to where they live. Rapid diagnostic tests are used to obtain immediate, on-site results. The success of the concept relies on portable, rapid diagnostic devices that provide results directly to the user, which allows health care workers in remote areas to test and treat patients at the time of the visit.
  • Polymer

    A large molecule composed of many repeating subunits. Polymers range from familiar synthetic plastics such as polystyrene to natural biopolymers such as DNA. Polymers have unique physical properties, including strength, flexibility and elasticity.
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

    PET scans use radiopharmaceuticals to create 3 dimensional images. The decay of the radiotracers used with PET scans produce small particles called positrons. When positrons react with electrons in the body they annihilate each other. This annihilation produces two photons that shoot off in opposite directions. The detectors in the PET scanner measure these photons and use this information to create images of internal organs.
  • Progenitor Cells

    Progenitor cells are cells that are similar to stem cells but instead of the ability to become any type of cell, they are already predisposed to develop into a particular type of cell.
  • Prosthetics

    The design, fabrication, and fitting of artificial body parts.