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Bubble Nucleation In Aqueous Media: Implications For Diving Physiology

D. Yount
Published 1982 · Physics

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Decompression sickness follows a reduction in ambient pressure and is a result of bubble formation in blood or tissue. Almost any body part, organ, or fluid can be affected, including bone. This generality suggests a common basis in the physical and chemical properties of water, particularly those relating to cavitation. In this paper, we review a cavitation model developed at the University of Hawaii in which spherical gas nuclei are stabilized by surface-active skins of varying gas permeability. The varying-permeability model provides a precise quantitative description of bubble counts made in supersaturated gelatin, and it accurately predicts levels of incidence for decompression sickness in several animal species, including salmon, rats, and humans.

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