Navigation Links
Report describes the physics of the 'bends'
Date:6/22/2010

College Park, MD (June 22, 2010) -- As you go about your day-to-day activities, tiny bubbles of nitrogen come and go inside your tissues. This is not a problem unless you happen to experience large changes in ambient pressure, such as those encountered by scuba divers and astronauts. During large, fast pressure drops, these bubbles can grow and lead to decompression sickness, popularly known as "the bends."

A study in the Journal of Chemical Physics, which is published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP), may provide a physical basis for the existence of these bubbles, and could be useful in understanding decompression sickness.

A physiological model that accounts for these bubbles is needed both to protect against and to treat decompression sickness. There is a problem though. "These bubbles should not exist," says author Saul Goldman of the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Because they are believed to be composed mostly of nitrogen, while the surrounding atmosphere consists of both nitrogen and oxygen, the pressure of the bubbles should be less than that of the surrounding atmosphere. But if this were so, they would collapse.

"We need to account for their apparent continuous existence in tissues in spite of this putative pressure imbalance," says Goldman.

If, as is widely believed, decompression sickness is the result of the growth of pre-existing gas bubbles in tissues, those bubbles must be sufficiently stable to have non-negligible half-lives. The proposed explanation involves modeling body tissues as soft elastic materials that have some degree of rigidity. Previous models have focused on bubble formation in simple liquids, which differ from elastic materials in having no rigidity.

Using the soft-elastic tissue model, Goldman finds pockets of reduced pressure in which nitrogen bubbles can form and have enough stability to account for a continuous presence of tiny bubbles that can expand when the ambient pressure drops. Tribonucleation, the phenomenon of formation of new gas bubbles when submerged surfaces separate rapidly, provides the physical mechanism for formation of new gas bubbles in solution. The rapid separation of adhering surfaces results in momentary negative pressures at the plane of separation. Therefore, while these tiny bubbles in elastic media are metastable, and do not last indefinitely, they are replaced periodically. According to this picture, tribonucleation is the source, and finite half-lives the sink, for the continuous generation and loss small gas bubbles in tissues.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. IOM report on national vaccine plan
2. VHI Releases Annual Industry Report - Highlights Hospital, Nursing Facility Efficiency
3. New IAVA Report Reveals Red Tape Facing Veterans in the Military and VA Health Care and Disability Systems
4. The Advisory Board Company Reports Results For Quarter Ended 12/31/09
5. More than 30 Percent of Seniors Are Not Immunized Against Pneumonia in 36 States; New Report Finds Low Adult Vaccination Rates in U.S.
6. Hillenbrand Reports Results for First Quarter 2010
7. Report documents statewide initiative to reduce near-term scheduled births
8. MedCath Corporation Reports First Quarter Earnings
9. Violence is part of the job say nurses as study shows only 1 in 6 incidents are reported
10. Ashworth College Instructor Dr. Nicole Detling Miller Appears on Colbert Report
11. U.S. News & World Report Ranks Sonora at Splendido Among Top in Nation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through ... AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the Los Angeles ... to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring articles written ... known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi says “I ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric ... peers in Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of ... Vice President of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... Women-owned and Grand Rapids-based workplace wellness ... in Wellness® by Best and Brightest. OnSite Wellness will be honored at the ... 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Henry Autograph Collection Hotel, located at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... In the United ... year. In some states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, Connecticut, and ... havens have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes to the relatively lower cost ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... -- HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy ... team developments today:   ... ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD Healthcare of ... Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. , have ... service that expedites and streamlines patient and provider access ... 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... used to measure lung function for a variety of ...
(Date:9/13/2017)... ATLANTA , Sept. 13, 2017   OrthoAtlanta ... to the Atlanta Football Host Committee (AFHC) for the 2018 ... Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in ... part of the AFHC "I,m In" campaign, participating in many ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: