Is Liquid Breathing In Our Near Future? - Health Digest



The 1960s research moved to a liquid made with perfluorocarbons, or PFC, instead of water. Perfluorocarbons are molecules made using carbon and hydrogen where most of the hydrogens are replaced with fluorine. They are not harmful to your internal organs like the kidneys and liver. Perfluorocarbon liquids (PCFL) also contain a lot of space between molecules, which means they allow room for three times more oxygen as your blood and 40 times more oxygen as water. 

Initial studies saw potential but with partial liquid ventilation — inhaling perfluorocarbon liquid combined with air from a normal ventilator. The reason for partial liquid ventilation is that perfluorocarbons are still thicker than air and don’t clear out carbon dioxide from your lungs as quickly as normal air does. However, partial liquid ventilation had apparently worked on people with lung injuries and premature babies with lungs that weren’t able to do their jobs on their own. But total liquid ventilation — using only perfluorocarbon liquid — to help those with breathing difficulties is still a quest for our future scientists. 

“The technology of liquid pulmonary ventilation can be used to rescue spluttered people,” shared a specialist in liquid ventilation from the Sherbrooke University in Canada, Philippe Micheau (via TASS). While the invention of perfluorocarbons has definitely made strides in the concept of liquid breathing, it’s hard to say if complete liquid breathing is something we’ll see in the near future. Science has to still solve the puzzle of viscosity — the opposition the natural human anatomy poses to inhaling and exhaling liquid as effortlessly as air.  



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