Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Health

28. Injectable Nano-Bubbles Prevent Suffocation

This therapy bypasses breathing by delivering oxygen directly to the blood.

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Microscopic oxygen bubbles, injected directly into the bloodstream, could soon begin saving the lives of patients who have stopped breathing. Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital encased microscopic pockets of oxygen in a layer of lipids, the fatty molecules that make up cell membranes. Then they administered a shot of the bubbly mix into test animals. The fatty bubbles diffused instantly and saturated the blood within seconds. When given to rabbits with obstructed airways, the solution kept the animals alive and stable for 15 minutes without their taking a single breath. If this type of therapy proves safe in humans, a syringe full of oxygen microbubbles could help avert brain damage and death for the victims of cardiac arrest, asthma attacks, strokes, and injuries to the lungs, airway, or face. Says intensive care doctor and lead researcher John Kheir of Children’s Hospital, "We hope someday the drug will be stored on code carts and ambulances across the world to reverse brief, severe, and life-threatening episodes of hypoxemia."

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In