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A wearable device shows how the seals prepare for diving.

According to a study published in the Open Access Journal on June 18, you can investigate the blood volume and oxygen pattern of marine mammals diving freely using wearable non-invasive devices based on near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). PLOS Biology Jean Chris McKnight and his colleagues at the University of St. Andrews. The results spontaneously provide important insights into the basic physiological patterns associated with diving by providing new insights into how dive seals can dispense blood and manage oxygen supply to the brain and respiratory system.

Mammals respond to water immersion and show cardiovascular responses such as heart rate reduction and peripheral vasoconstriction. However, investigating diving bydiving blood distribution and oxygen supply in marine mammals has been limited to the present day due to the lack of non-invasive techniques available for freely-diving animals.

The authors hypothesize that NIRS can resolve this gap in knowledge by providing high-resolution relative measurements of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin in specific tissues, which can be used to estimate changes in blood volume. In a new study, McKnight and colleagues examined the blood volume and oxygen pattern, particularly in brains and fats, using a device that dubbed PortaSeal for port seals that freely dive NIRS technology.

The authors used PortaSeal to obtain NIRS data from four seals swimming freely in a natural predator habitat. The device will be superglued on the animal's fur; The brain is attached to the head to measure blood, or to the shoulder to monitor peripheral blood circulation. It is then easily removed and the data is downloaded.

Interestingly, the results show that seals contract peripheral blood vessels with increased cerebral blood flow for about 15 seconds before salivary gland. These anticipated adjustments mean that blood redistribution in the seals is under some degree of cognitive control and is not just a reflex response to inundation. Seals also increase cerebral oxygen supply at regular times during each dive on a daily basis, despite lack of access to air.

The authors suggest that using NIRS to track blood volume and oxygen levels in various tissues can provide a more accurate understanding of the physiological plasticity of diving animals in an increasingly confusing and exploited environment.

"When you find a physiologically attractive animal seal, you can actively control the circulatory system, which is exciting," says Dr. McKnight. "This provides a new perspective on the ability to control the basic physiological response of the body. Gaining this insight into non-invasive wearable technology in the biomedical field offers many exciting future research methods. It's an outdoor seal that performs well, such as diving at 2,000 meters per hour, but its heart rate is as low as 2 bpm, but it can avoid brain damage. "


Peer review / experimental research / animal

Use this URL in coverage to provide access to PLOS Biology's free articles (http: // journals) /Reproductive biology /article? id =10.1371 /journal.pbio.3000306

Quotation: McKnight JC, Bennett KA, Bronkhorst M, Russell DJF, Balfour S, Milne R, et al. (2019) Using a near-infrared spectroscope that can be worn, it illuminates mammalian diving physiology. PLoS Biol 17 (6): e3000306. https: // /10.1371 /journal.pbio.3000306

Funding: This week we received the following funding: the National Environmental Research Council Cabinet funding for the Sea Mammal Research Unit (grant number SMRU1001), Marine Mammal Research Unit Consulting (10th Anniversary Award). Foundation funds have not played a role in research design, data collection and analysis, publication decisions, or manuscript creation.

Competitive advantage: The author declared that there is no competitive interest.

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