Scientists have crafted an injectable foam containing oxygen-carrying microparticles that could potentially be used to resuscitate patients undergoing severe oxygen deprivation. The team of researchers, most of whom work at Children’s Hospital Boston, demonstrated that the microparticle solution could rapidly oxygenate the blood of rabbits struggling to breath in low oxygen conditions. They report their findings in the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine.
Now I don’t know about you but I would love to breathe underwater. This technology is only new, however, with further development I reckon this will be commercialized in about 5 years if the tests and studies are comprehensive. Will we soon be able to breathe in space? Well no space doesn’t work like that – space is a vacuum, even if we could somehow have oxygen hidden away some where in our body the depths of space would instantly and violent suck it all out of you in a very painful and quick death. However, breathing under water? Maybe with a few alterations and some Orr of procedure to give us a way to no swallow the water? Then yeah sure, your kids will soon be able to scuba dive without the scuba.
But a more realistic and helpful use is of course it’s capabilities and the field of medicine. A body deprived of oxygen is a body in trouble. When major organs like the brain and heart don’t receive an adequate supply of oxygen they falter and fail, sometimes in minutes. Traditionally, physicians used therapies such as CPR and tracheal intubation, where a breathing tube ventilates the lungs after being inserted into a patient’s windpipe, to deliver fresh oxygen to the bloodstream of a person in the midst of a medical emergency.
“The microparticles, which consist of spherical shells of lipids surrounding a small bubble of oxygen gas, deliver oxygen almost immediately to red blood cells in a way that is safer and more rapid than currently used methods.”
Researchers are now testing the microparticle solution on large animals, and if those and later human clinical trials are successful, the therapy could make its way into the clinic or other emergency situations. “This is still in its infancy,” Laussen added, “but this idea of a new and novel way to effectively deliver oxygen is, I think, very exciting.”