Scientists have developed a new microparticle filled with oxygen that can be injected into the blood stream. When the microparticles were injected into rabbits with low concentrations of oxygen in arterial blood, arterial saturations increased within seconds to near-normal levels.
The microparticles are tiny capsules (2-4 micrometers) made of a single layer of lipids surrounding a small bubble of oxygen gas.
Upon injecting a capsule-filled liquid into the bloodstream, the capsules bump into red blood cells, transferring the oxygen to the cell in the process. About 70% of the oxygen injected successfully makes its way into the blood stream this way.
While the technique is primarily being developed for short-term resuscitation by boosting oxygenation during acute respiratory failure, it does give raise to some mind-boggling perspectives;
Not only could this exciting new technique provide first responders attending dive accidents with better tools but it is also a glimse into the future were divers could have gases provided via particles in the bloodsteam?
Food for thought!