The grant, a Bioengineering Research Partnership from the National Institutes of Health, will allow researchers to develop ways to use the high-fluidity ice particle mixture for rapid cooling of the blood to sustain the heart and brain cells after cardiac arrests.
"In the United States alone," said Roger Poeppel, director of Argonne's Energy Technology Division, "sudden cardiac arrests strike about 1,000 people a day, and the survival rate is at best 2 percent to 4 percent. If we can improve survival rate by just 1 percent, we will save the lives of 10 people every day."
People who suffer cardiac arrests outside of the hospital have a lower chance of recovering. Ten to 12 minutes after an arrest, brain cells start dying rapidly because of lack of blood flow to the brain.
In 1999, Ken Kasza, a senior mechanical engineer who leads the research at Argonne, and Poeppel worked with collaborators Lance Becker and Terry Vanden Hoek from the University of Chicago Hospitals to develop the Emergency Resuscitation Center -- a center dedicated to studying health problems like cardiac arrests. Becker and Vanden Hoek lead the center.
When the team began their research they knew that when cells are cooled, their metabolism and their chemical processes slow dramatically. For example, a skater who falls into an icy pond can be resuscitated even after being submerged for a significant amount of time. Because external cooling works too slowly, the team proposed that the ice slurry be injected into the body to induce faster, internal cooling. Because of its high cooling capacity, ice sl
Contact: Katie Williams
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory