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Thread: Breathable Liquid

  1. #1
    It is very dry in here today PsychoticEpisode's Avatar
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    Breathable Liquid

    Years ago, I believe the 3M company showed a TV ad with a mouse submerged in a liquid that it was supposedly breathing. Then a few years ago the movie "Abyss" had a human being breathing a liquid. I heard that the liquid actually exists but I have heard nothing more about it. It has a fairly long name which I can't remember plus I heard years ago that it was going to be the substitute for blood transfusions because of its oxygen content.

    Did something go horribly wrong somewhere and was the product banned? Can anyone shed some light on the fate of this liquid?

  2. #2

  3. #3
    In Mission to Mars 2...the guy who leaves for the aliens breathes liquid with oxygen as well

  4. #4
    ALEA IACTA EST Trippy's Avatar
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    http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/history/clark_leland.htm
    After bubbling oxygen through the fluorocarbon, the oxygenated fluid was pumped into the animals' lungs, and recirculated (about 6 cycles of inhalation and exhalation per minute). Most of the animals who were kept in the fluid for up to an hour survived for several weeks after their removal, before eventually succumbing to pulmonary damage. Autopsies uniformly revealed that the lungs appeared congested when collapsed but normal when inflated. Some of the early problems Clark encountered seemed to be due to the size of the animals' airway. The tiny size physically limited the amount of fluid that could get into the lungs. For that and other reasons, carbon dioxide tended to build up in the system: it simply couldn't be removed fast enough.


    To my knowledge, morbidity of test subjects has been approximately 100%, although some of that may be due to impurities in teh PFC's.

    Finally, AFAIK, it has yet to be sucessfully tested on Humans (and some sources suggest it may not be feasible on the grounds of viscosity, and the required fluid exchange rates in the lungs to remove adequite .

  5. #5
    "Some of the early problems Clark encountered seemed to be due to the size of the animals' airway. The tiny size physically limited the amount of fluid that could get into the lungs."

    so Clark is suggesting to us to test it on humans? After all our airways are much bigger.

  6. #6
    ALEA IACTA EST Trippy's Avatar
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    As previously stated, and as stated in at least one of the links I've provided, some indications are that it simply may not be practicle for human use - because of the physics of gas transfer.

  7. #7
    um trippy, acording to the wikipedia link they already ARE using a form of it in med

  8. #8
    ALEA IACTA EST Trippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asguard View Post
    um trippy, acording to the wikipedia link they already ARE using a form of it in med
    Correct, but the methods that have been used are PLV, PFC Vapor, and PFC aerosol - technically liquid breathing, because the lungs inhale liquid and extract oxygen from the liquid, but, AFAIK, different from Total Liquid Ventilation which is what we see in The Abyss, and what I was assuming was being refered to.

  9. #9
    I'm just going for a walk... ElectricFetus's Avatar
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    I'm under the scientific opinion that human lungs simply can't pump liquid and keep it self oxygenated/decarbonated well enough without causing extensive damage to the lungs. An alternative approach might be to hook up an artificial lung to the cardiovascular system.
    http://www.novalung.com/eng/Default.asp

  10. #10
    um EF, the lungs DO breath liquid before your born. In fact the hardest breath ever taken is that first one where the lungs are collapsed because of they are full of emniotic fluid insted of air and surficant

    Now your right if you say "but we dont get oxygen from that" but there is no theoritical reason why you couldnt. Actually it may be a good treatment for Acute Pulmonry Odema (APO) because the increased pressure of using a liquid for breathing would stop the fluid leaving the capilleries and flooding the lungs

  11. #11
    Awesome User Title Diode-Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asguard View Post
    um EF, the lungs DO breath liquid before your born. In fact the hardest breath ever taken is that first one where the lungs are collapsed because of they are full of emniotic fluid insted of air and surficant

    Now your right if you say "but we dont get oxygen from that" but there is no theoritical reason why you couldnt. Actually it may be a good treatment for Acute Pulmonry Odema (APO) because the increased pressure of using a liquid for breathing would stop the fluid leaving the capilleries and flooding the lungs
    I am tempted to try this wit V8, everything the body needs right?

    It just takes a little getting used to....

  12. #12
    ALEA IACTA EST Trippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asguard View Post
    um EF, the lungs DO breath liquid before your born. In fact the hardest breath ever taken is that first one where the lungs are collapsed because of they are full of emniotic fluid insted of air and surficant

    Now your right if you say "but we dont get oxygen from that" but there is no theoritical reason why you couldnt. Actually it may be a good treatment for Acute Pulmonry Odema (APO) because the increased pressure of using a liquid for breathing would stop the fluid leaving the capilleries and flooding the lungs
    The only problem I have with this is that for it to be effective at decarbonating the blood, either it need to be partial infusion, or mechanically driven - it takes something like 5 litres per second of fluid flow to remove the carbon dioxide from resting metabolism alone.

  13. #13
    I'm just going for a walk... ElectricFetus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asguard View Post
    um EF, the lungs DO breath liquid before your born. In fact the hardest breath ever taken is that first one where the lungs are collapsed because of they are full of emniotic fluid insted of air and surficant
    You did not read what I said: fetuses do not breath for oxygen and carbonic acid homeostasis do they? No their breathing is merely reflexive, a pratice for the real thing perhaps, and does not strain them. Now imagine having to breath something with hundreds of times the density and viscosity of air at ~350 liters per hour! No wonder animals test subjects die of internal bleeding from the lungs after testing!

    I have heard of the use of partial liquid breathing procedures for premature babies, where their little lungs are filled partially with PFC and it assists in their undeveloped respiratory system by preventing lung collapse.

  14. #14
    ALEA IACTA EST Trippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricFetus View Post
    You did not read what I said: fetuses do not breath for oxygen and carbonic acid homeostasis do they? No their breathing is merely reflexive, a pratice for the real thing perhaps, and does not strain them. Now imagine having to breath something with hundreds of times the density and viscosity of air at ~350 liters per hour! No wonder animals test subjects die of internal bleeding from the lungs after testing!
    I should point out that it has been suggested by several sources (including the one's I've linked to) that the damage to the lungs was caused by impurities in the PFC's, and they treat the build up of Carbon Dioxide as a seperate issue.

  15. #15
    Please use Sugar Cane Alcohol Billy T's Avatar
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    Rats can breath oxygenated water for some time. (I forget how long -more than 15 minutes, I think.) The main problem is that drawing it in and expelling it requires a lot of effort and energy, which makes the CO2 in the blood increase as transport of it into the water is not rapid enough. This CO2 make them breath faster.*

    Few know that we will not notice the lack of oxygen in the "air" we breath. I.e. we have no urge to breath because we are not getting enough O2. We breath because the urge to breath is related to the CO2 accumulating in your blood. (It just make sense - the exhalled air is nearly as rich in O2 as the inhalled air - so hard to sense a change in O2 concentration, but the exhaled CO2 concentartion is much higher than the inhaled concentration. (I am just guessing as have forgotten the facts, but at least an order of magnitude higher concentration I think.- An easy change for the body to sense.)

    At APL two men working on a satellite inside a bell jar for later thermal test in vacuum died because of this fact. The huge steel bell jar they were working in was cranked up by hand. They had cranked it up only enough to squeeze between its lower lip and the base plate. Unforutantely, they had not turned off the dry N2 feed so slowly the O2/N2 ratio became very low. They could have left at any time, but did not notice anything wrong as they were getting rid of the CO2 building up in their blood normally. They were found by their car pool driver when they did not show for the ride home.

    *The smaller blood vessels in the brain are unique. They expand as the CO2 concentration increases. Nature has developed this clever adaptation to reduce the resistance to blood flow in those part of the brain which are working the most. The brain is only about 2% of body weight but can take 20% of the O2 from the blood. It needs to get to the more active parts of the brain - CO2 expanding those capilaries is how that is done.
    Last edited by Billy T; 03-22-09 at 05:27 PM.

  16. #16
    billy your answer is only PARTUALLY correct

    Chemo receptiors on the arch of the aorta are responcable for the CO2 drive to breath (they also respond to Ph levels and what i have read is contradictor as to wether this is the way they find out how much CO2 is in the blood or if they are seprate)

    However the brain itself (specifically the medulla) CAN detect O2 levels directly, the problem is that this requires a MASSIVE drop in O2 before it kicks in and the CO2 receptors are alot faster. This is why CO2 retrainers will stop breathing if you put them on 100% O2 (you can actually suffercate them with O2) but it will eventually kick in that the brain is being staved of O2

  17. #17
    Please use Sugar Cane Alcohol Billy T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asguard View Post
    billy your answer is only PARTUALLY correct...
    I don't think I said anything wrong. - I just did not tell (as did not know- thanks) where the CO2 that causes normal urge to breath was detected. I did know that CO2 disolved in water tends to make it more acidic and suspected strongly that what was really detected was this change in pH and not the CO2 directly.

    I.e. My answer was "fully correct" but not as complete as it might have been (few answers ever "exhaust the subject"). Mine tend to be too long as it is.

    God help Sicforums with storage space if I were to try to give exhaustive answers.

  18. #18
    Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    Can I get my breathable liquid with THC added to it?...that would be sweet.

  19. #19
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    I can testify from personal experience that you do have an "urge to breath more" when the partial pressure of O2 gets too low, even if the overall atmospheric pressure is still acceptable high. You start to feel out of breath, as if you were running hard (even though you're not).

  20. #20
    Please use Sugar Cane Alcohol Billy T's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nasor View Post
    I can testify from personal experience that you do have an "urge to breath more" when the partial pressure of O2 gets too low, even if the overall atmospheric pressure is still acceptable high. You start to feel out of breath, as if you were running hard (even though you're not).
    How did you know the pratial O2 pressure was low yet total pressure was normal? And if you did know, how do you rule out the effects of conscious recognition that you need to breath more often or deeper and if not doing that you would / should feel out of breath?

    I do not doubt that you are telling the truth, only that results measured when you were not aware that the partial presure of O2 was sub normal would have shown that you breath more deeply or more rapidly. At best, I think, you might notice you were getting tired or getting sleepy, before passing out and dying. - That seems to be the case of the two men who died as the O2/N2 ratio slowly decreased. - See post 15.

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