Another UNL research program is on the verge of success. They are using microbubbles to give oxygen to a lung and give it time to heal.

The UNL study could potentially save a soldier's life or a civilian's life who have severe lung damage.

UNL researchers are studying the way microbubbles can help provide oxygen to a lung that is in distress and stops working.

"There's no current treatment for these people, these civilians, these soldiers, said Nathaniel Zollinger, a UNL research student. "We do the best we can with the technology that's currently available and so the microbubbles will fill that need that currently exists." 

Their aim is to fight Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, and the research has been backed by the Department of Defense who awarded the team 3.7 million dollars, last summer, to continue their research.

"We have a lot of folks that are dying needlessly because they don't have a way of letting their lungs rest sufficiently while they heal and so yea this could save quite a few lives," said UNL professor Benjamin Terry.

Doctors and soldiers could have a new treatment option for patients who can't breathe.

Terry hopes the outcome will provide soldiers who are hurt in the field more time to get to urgent care.

"We infuse the bubbles into a space and that provides a secondary source of oxygen that doesn't require the lungs essentially," said Terry. "It's kind of like creating a pseudo lung within the abdominal space." 

Zollinger says this technology could replace heavy machinery and be more practical for military use.

"It would be impractical to use something like this but if we could use the microbubbles that would be much better," adds Zollinger. "So, our hope is our technology would replace the devices like this cause this is very bulky and very heavy." 

The research still needs time to progress but the program has the attention of medical professionals as well as top government officials.