Scientists have made a breakthrough that could save patient's lives and open up the possibilities for underwater exploration.

A team at Boston Children's Hospital have invented a micro-particle that can be injected into your bloodstream to oxygenate your blood – without any help being required from your lungs.

The particles are able to keep a patient alive for up to 30 minutes after respiratory failure – which is normally enough time to prevent a heart attack or brain damage due to oxygen deprivation.

Each particle contains three to four times more oxygen than each of our own red blood cells. The oxygen is stored with a cell membrane made of fat. The membrane can be made of other materials but one issue in the past was that the particles became lodged in the body's capillaries. These fat membranes however, are much more flexible and prevent this problem from happening.

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