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Effect of hyperbaric oxygen conditions on the ordering of interfacial water

May 1, 2015

Paper published May, 2015

link to journalfull text (PDF)


Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO2) conditions are applied clinically to treat diverse conditions. There is a lack of a unifying consensus as to how HBO2 acts effectively against a broad range of medical conditions, and numerous differing biological explanations have been offered. The possibility of a mechanism dependent on the extensive ordering of interfacial water has not yet been investigated.


We examined the hypothesis that zones of ordered water, dubbed "exclusion zones" or "EZ," are expanded under hyperbaric oxygen conditions. Specifically, we tested whether there are significant quantitative differences in EZ size at steady state under high-pressure and/or high-oxygen conditions, compared to normal atmospheric conditions. Oxygen concentration and mechanical pressure were examined separately and in combination. Statistically significant increases in EZ size were seen at elevated air pressures and at high oxygen concentrations. These experimental results suggest the possibility of an ordered water-mediated mechanism of action for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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Gerald H. Pollack, PhD

Professor of Bioengineering - Box 355061

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195


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