Technique reveals vascular diseases and colors of Mona Lisa

Technique reveals vascular diseases and colors of Mona Lisa

The technique used to uncover the secrets of the Mona Lisa can also be used to detect abnormalities in the walls of our blood vessels. The exact relationship between Leonardo da Vinci´s work and health will be explained on 10 February during a symposium in Amsterdam. David Maresca, researcher at Erasmus MC, and James Muller, the winner of the Nobel Peace prize in 1985, will give lectures on the special technique ´light spectroscopy´.

David Maresca did an internship at the Louvre where he used light spectroscopy to determine which paint had been used for the background of the Mona Lisa. He also calculated the color of the oil painting at the time it was actually painted, making apparent many details that are currently practically invisible.

The techniques used in the study of the Mona Lisa are now also being used to detect abnormalities in blood vessel walls. Special light locates dangerous spots. Muller: ”These are spots where fat is covered by a thin membrane. If the membrane breaks, the fat is released and can, for example, cause a heart attack.”

Maresca works at the Biomedical Technology department of Erasmus MC, where, among other, equipment is developed to study cardiovascular diseases. Muller´s light spectroscopy catheter is a joint development between InfraReDx and this department. Maresca is also a PhD student taking part in a project of the KNAW-ICIN (Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands). Maresca and Muller will give their lectures during a symposium being held in honor of the 40th anniversary of ICIN.

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