Most of Suspended Animation’s research focuses on developing methods, particularly unique cooling (hypothermia) methods, to reduce ischemia and ischemic damage to the body tissues.
When blood flow is cut off from tissues in the body, the supply of oxygen and nutrients is also cut off. This condition is called ischemia. Cardiac arrest, stroke and trauma inflict localized or total ischemia on the body and within a few minutes the cells in the tissues have used up their reserves of oxygen. A damaging cascade of biochemical reactions begins and can ultimately kill the cells if unchecked. This is called ischemic damage.
Beginning a treatment protocol that includes rapid cooling of the tissues can help slow, stop and sometimes even reverse these harmful processes. Deep cooling or profound levels of hypothermia can slow cellular metabolic processes as well as the damaging chemical reactions and place the cells in a kind of limited suspended animation. This allows the tissues to be protected while patient is being transported to where they can receive more advanced medical care.
Projects In Research
Research and development projects at Suspended Animation are chosen with the goal of improving the quality of stabilization and transport of cryonics patients.
This is a system to cool patients with a chilled breathable liquid. Developed in conjunction with the California laboratory, Critical Care Research, Suspended Animation is creating a rugged, portable unit that can be easily used by first responders and others treating patients outside of a hospital environment.
Suspended Animation explores gene expression following cardiac arrest and during hypothermia for the purpose of identifying potential targets for treatment and monitoring the effectiveness of treatment.