Inject Oxygen Into The Bloodstream Like Star Trek Triox

A new form of injectable oxygen can be stored in convenient syringes, to be used when airway obstruction deprives a patient of oxygen.


(From Microparticles packed with oxygen that can be injected into the bloodstream)

The microparticles consist of a single layer of lipids (fatty molecules) that surround a tiny pocket of oxygen gas, and are delivered in a liquid solution... John Kheir, MD, of the Department of Cardiology at Boston Children's Hospital, and colleagues report that an infusion of these microparticles into animals with low blood oxygen levels restored blood oxygen saturation to near-normal levels, within seconds.

The microparticle solutions are portable and could stabilize patients in emergency situations, buying time for paramedics, emergency clinicians or intensive care clinicians to more safely place a breathing tube or perform other life-saving therapies, says Kheir.

"This is a short-term oxygen substitute -- a way to safely inject oxygen gas to support patients during a critical few minutes," he says. "Eventually, this could be stored in syringes on every code cart in a hospital, ambulance or transport helicopter to help stabilize patients who are having difficulty breathing."

Star Trek fans well remember that in Amok Time, Captain Kirk is forced to fight Spock to the death. At one point during the fight, Dr. McCoy rushes into the fray to give Kirk an injection of a drug called "Triox" claiming that it would improve Kirk's ability to absorb oxygen in the thinner air of that planet, thus evening the odds in the fight.


(Dr. McCoy injects Kirk in Amok Time)

As it turns out, McCoy had cleverly substituted a "neural paralyzer" that made Kirk appear dead. Spock was declared the winner; Kirk beats the no-win scenario once again.

Update: 9-Jul-2012: See also this reference to synthetic respirocytes from Robert Freitas' "Nanomedicine" . Thanks to Vik at Diamond Age for sending in the tip. End update.

Via Popular Science; thanks to @nyrath, Dewtey and Icecycle for writing in!

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