CNR: underwater innovation with safer “rebreathers”
An international study involving the Institute of Clinical Physiology of the National Research Council (IFC-CNR) is investigating the enhancement of “rebreathers”, the modern “close circuit” underwater breathing systems that recycle oxygen from a user’s exhaled to mix it with inert gas and create a mixture to permit breathing at different depths.
Compared to traditional pure oxygen breathers, “rebreathers” can reduce complications induced by decompression, as well as equipment encumbrance, but are not ready for marketing outside the military setting, due to a number of fatal accidents. The Italian researchers, together with their colleagues from the University of California, are studying under experimental controlled conditions any possible hemodynamic changes related to this innovative scuba-diving technology.
The study is conducted in the “Y-40” swimming pool of Montegrotto Terme (pictured) – the only swimming pool with a 40-mt. “well” worldwide – by using the sophisticated instruments developed by CNR within the activities of IFC, which has been engaged for ten years in “prenosologic” medicine research, a branch of aerospace medicine focused on individual vulnerability to diseases with the School for Advanced Studies in Pisa.