Breathing Without Lungs

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Science, Technology

oxygen shots

Scientists have perfected a method that allows mammals such as rabbits to live for up to thirty minutes without taking a single breath. They achieved this unbelievable feat by injecting oxygen filled microparticles directly into the blood.

Up until now, we’ve relied on our lungs to oxygenate our blood; this new method uses a syringe to do the same, sustaining life for a length of time unsurpassed in human history.

Low Oxygen

The current world record for holding one’s breath is 22 minutes, 22 seconds, and that’s with pure oxygen inhalation beforehand. Not breathing for an extended period of time is often extremely dangerous, as it can lead to irreversible brain damage and cardiac arrest.

When people unexpectedly suffer from a collapsed lung or a blocked airway, there isn’t much time to act, and things can turn catastrophic quick. This breakthrough will provide easily transported vials that can be administered in emergency situations.

Oxygen Injections

The easily injectable liquid solution consists of oxygen contained within lipids, which are different types of fat. The solution contains three to four times the oxygen content of our own red blood cells, and assimilates smoothly into our body. These oxygen shots take effect within seconds of being administered.

oxygen injection

Dr. John Kheir from the Boston Children’s Hospital described the process as follows: “As the oxygen leaves, the shells buckle and fold, with the lipids breaking off.” They are then harmlessly absorbed into the body. The blood becomes enriched with oxygen, enabling the subject to maintain his or her blood pressure and heart rate without taking a single breath. Kheir also notes that “It’s not going to replace the lungs, it just replaces their function for a limited period of time.”

What’s amazing about these new microparticles is that they are extremely affordable and can actually create themselves. Using a process known as sonication, lipids are exposed to extreme sound waves in an oxygenated environment, trapping the oxygen within the lipids and forming the key components to the life-extending solution.

The Future

Once affordable and if able to be administered properly, this oxygen injection kit could very well become a part of every first aid package out there.

The study did not discuss to what extent excessive movement would cut the supply short, but it’s safe to assume that daredevils may look to capitalize on this invention to achieve superhuman feats. This scientific breakthrough could enable us to shoot up oxygen to perform incredible underwater stunts or to travel to locations once too dangerous to imagine exploring.

Science Translational Medicine



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Comments (1)

  • Observer


    Wow! This is really a breakthrough, if it could be used for those with emphysema, COPD, asthma, bronchitis! Oh, the Pharmaceutical companies won’t like this.


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