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    (unsure if this is the correct section for such a thread but here goes anyway)

    Hi before i start id just like to give you a brief background of my past and hopefully it will help you understand the thought process behind my idea.

    August 1st 2012 i lost my mum to cancer, in the last 6 months of her life she had totally lost her appetite for food and a result of this was a huge loss and body nutrition which meant her condition deteriorated extremely fast.

    So here's my idea (im not sure if this is achievable its simply an idea)

    Ive done a bit of research and seen in most cases of cancer the patient suffers from weight loss and poor appetite and there body becomes weak and deteriorates because of this.

    So i was thinking would it be possible to administer carbohydrates and nutrition in some kind of breathable gas form?

    I know that it would have made my mums last few months a hell of allot more comfortable if she was able to at least satisfy her bodies basic needs.

    Im open to any help with this or criticism you may have, thanks for your time.
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    (Original post by SurplusMikey)
    (unsure if this is the correct section for such a thread but here goes anyway)

    Hi before i start id just like to give you a brief background of my past and hopefully it will help you understand the thought process behind my idea.

    August 1st 2012 i lost my mum to cancer, in the last 6 months of her life she had totally lost her appetite for food and a result of this was a huge loss and body nutrition which meant her condition deteriorated extremely fast.

    So here's my idea (im not sure if this is achievable its simply an idea)

    Ive done a bit of research and seen in most cases of cancer the patient suffers from weight loss and poor appetite and there body becomes weak and deteriorates because of this.

    So i was thinking would it be possible to administer carbohydrates and nutrition in some kind of breathable gas form?

    I know that it would have made my mums last few months a hell of allot more comfortable if she was able to at least satisfy her bodies basic needs.

    Im open to any help with this or criticism you may have, thanks for your time.
    Moved to Nutrition section

    Sorry to hear about your mum by the way
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    Whilst the idea is a good one, practically, I can't see it working. Glucose molecules would be far too large to pass across the alveoli and thus, would not be able to pass from the lungs and in the bloodstream.

    Source: Did a foundation year in Biomedical Science

    Other sciencey types- feel free to correct/educate me.
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    (Original post by SurplusMikey)
    (unsure if this is the correct section for such a thread but here goes anyway)

    Hi before i start id just like to give you a brief background of my past and hopefully it will help you understand the thought process behind my idea.

    August 1st 2012 i lost my mum to cancer, in the last 6 months of her life she had totally lost her appetite for food and a result of this was a huge loss and body nutrition which meant her condition deteriorated extremely fast.

    So here's my idea (im not sure if this is achievable its simply an idea)

    Ive done a bit of research and seen in most cases of cancer the patient suffers from weight loss and poor appetite and there body becomes weak and deteriorates because of this.

    So i was thinking would it be possible to administer carbohydrates and nutrition in some kind of breathable gas form?

    I know that it would have made my mums last few months a hell of allot more comfortable if she was able to at least satisfy her bodies basic needs.

    Im open to any help with this or criticism you may have, thanks for your time.
    It's not achievable. If you consider glucose, the simplest, smallest and most crucial carbohydrate, it is actually a HUGE molecule (c6h12o6) compared to the carbon dioxide and oxygen we breathe (co2 and o2 respectively). It's not feasible for a molecule as big (or as polarised) as glucose to pass through the membranes of the lung into the bloodstream.

    In addition, you have to consider the effect of introducing foreign aerosols into the lungs. You may end up causing an immune reaction in the lungs which could do more harm than good.

    I'm really sorry you lost your mother, and I think the research you're doing is commendable, but it would be good if you first had some understanding of basic human biology and anatomy.
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    Ahh ok thanks for the replies though guys
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    (Original post by Rooster523)
    Whilst the idea is a good one, practically, I can't see it working. Glucose molecules would be far too large to pass across the alveoli and thus, would not be able to pass from the lungs and in the bloodstream.

    Source: Did a foundation year in Biomedical Science

    Other sciencey types- feel free to correct/educate me.
    Think of it another way...The lining of the alveoli is made up of cells and those cells need energy. If pneumocytes are impermeable to glucose (and other substrates like amino acids and fatty acids) how do they survive?

    Granted there are likely to be fewer GLUT transporters (both in number and type) on the surface of pneumocytes compared to say the cells lining the GIT but there has got to be some sort of movement of glucose in and out of those cells:

    "Sweet talk: insights into the nature and importance of glucose transport in lung epithelium" -
    http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/40/5/1269.full

    (Original post by SurplusMikey)
    (unsure if this is the correct section for such a thread but here goes anyway)

    Hi before i start id just like to give you a brief background of my past and hopefully it will help you understand the thought process behind my idea.

    August 1st 2012 i lost my mum to cancer, in the last 6 months of her life she had totally lost her appetite for food and a result of this was a huge loss and body nutrition which meant her condition deteriorated extremely fast.

    So here's my idea (im not sure if this is achievable its simply an idea)

    Ive done a bit of research and seen in most cases of cancer the patient suffers from weight loss and poor appetite and there body becomes weak and deteriorates because of this.

    So i was thinking would it be possible to administer carbohydrates and nutrition in some kind of breathable gas form?

    I know that it would have made my mums last few months a hell of allot more comfortable if she was able to at least satisfy her bodies basic needs.

    Im open to any help with this or criticism you may have, thanks for your time.
    Theoretically yes it would be possible to deliver limited amounts of glucose in aerosol form. The practicalities are where it falls down.

    The greatest obstacle is infection.

    The lung airways are not a sterile environment and spraying a mist of metabolic substrates into the lungs is likely to fuel bacterial growth. Add to that the fact that the patients most likely to receive this sort of treatment would be those that are immunocompromised (eg; those on chemotherapy) and it is not a good mix. The paper I above does actually mention towards the end that higher than average levels of glucose in the fluid on the surface of the cells lining the lungs is correlated with colonisation by bacteria, including resistant populations (eg; MRSA).

    Then there is the logistics of delivering enough substrates in aerosolised form to sustain a person. It is bad enough with parenteral nutrition (ie; delivering glucose, amino acids and fatty acids directly into the blood stream) which is 100s if not 1000s of times more concentrated than an aerosol. Most people on parenteral feeding still lose horrendous amounts of weight and it still carries a very high risk of infection. It is a short term emergency life saving measure, not a viable means to maintain someone for weeks or even months on end.

    I think MacMillan (more recently) have started to offer intravenous fluids supplemented with glucose for it's terminally ill patients but again it is a short term measure (ie; it buys hours->days).
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    The particles would be too large to cross the membranes. Some might be small enough in gaseous form but this would require inhaling a gas at several hundred degrees Celsius.
 
 
 
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