posted on by Kim Morrissy
Tokyo Medical and Dental University researchers discover “EVA method” to deliver oxygen to mammals
A team of Tokyo Medical and Dental University researchers published a study on Friday showing that oxygen-carrying liquid, delivered through the anus, can be used as respiratory treatment on mice and pigs. The technique, which the study’s author Takanori Takebe called the “EVA method,” refers to “enteral ventilation via anus.” However, the name is also inspired by the LCL liquid depicted in the Evangelion anime, which the Eva pilots breathe inside their mechs.
The study was inspired by a breathing method commonly employed by loaches, whose intestines are capable of absorbing oxygen. The method was proposed as an alternative to mechanical ventilators. The researchers added oxygen to a perfluorochemical, a compound with a high capacity to absorb gases, and injected them into oxygen-deprived mammals. They found that the procedure boosted the blood oxygen of their subjects, to a degree that Takebe described as “astonishing.”
The study was published in the journal Med. In addition, Takebe has launched a start-up EVA Therapeutics, Inc., and is hoping to commence clinical trials as early as next year. Although the method’s safety on human subjects still needs to be evaluated, Takebe stressed the need to develop alternate means of treating respiratory problems, especially in the wake of ventilator shortages due to COVID-19.
Shinji voice actress Megumi Ogata commented on the study on Twitter, saying, “‘Taking LCL through the anus… I’ve never done anything like that before! What’s going on, father?! Misato-san?!’ Will the #EvaMethod save us from coronavirus? (It’s a bit of a different form from what one would expect, but still, amazing!)”