Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Liquid ventilation

29.03.2006


To live we need to breathe. Prior to being born we carry this activity out through the placenta and subsequently by means of our lungs. In normal development, the lungs of the foetus are filled with amniotic liquid and, on being born, the first cry activates this respiration surface. But the main problem that premature babies have is that their lungs are not well formed. Moreover, they often lack surfactant, a compound formed by proteins and lipids that avoids the lungs folding in on themselves before the baby gets stronger.



The respirators usually employd in these cases provide artificial surfactant, but not always in sufficient amounts to provide correct therapy. In order to alleviate this situation, the Nautical School at the University of the Basque Country has developed a liquid respiration respirator.

The machine simulates placentary respiration by filling the lungs of the premature baby with liquid and then the respirator introduces and extracts the required quantity of liquid at a suitable respiratory rhythm. The amount of liquid administered is usually in the order of 10 millilitres per kilogram of the baby’s weight.


Perfluorocarbons instead of air

Perfluorocarbon is used in liquid respiration, as it has a suitable surface tension in order to maintain the pulmonary structure and the fluorine has good properties for the transport of and interchange between blood and the gases, O2 and CO2. The respirator syringes introduce the oxygenated perfluorocarbon to the very last alveola. Here oxygen is released and carbon dioxide taken up in the same way as on the respiration surface. Then the respirator extracts part of the perfluorocarbon from the lungs and introduces the next oxygenated dose. The same machine carries out the removal of CO2 from the perfluorocarbon and adds oxygen to it.

Being full of liquid, the problems of pressure associated with conventional assisted respiration are avoided because the lungs of the premature baby suffer less stress and respire more easily.

However, this story does not have a happy ending. The respirator, for the moment, is no more than a prototype. In the experiments carried out at the Cruces hospital in Bilbao with artificial lungs and with animals, the results have been very good. It has even been applied successfully in more than 80 death-threatening situations in premature babies. But the perfluorocarbon for medical use is not available on the market. As premature babies need very small quantities and no commercial application for adults has been found, the patent-owning company has opted not to market it arguing that it lacks profitability. Thus, an industrial version of the liquid respirator is yet to be developed.

Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&Berri_Kod=930&hizk=I

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
23.06.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
22.06.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>