Bubble nucleation in aqueous media: implications for diving physiology

  • David E. Yount
Conference paper


Decompression sickness follows a reduction in ambient pressure and is a result of bubble formation in blood or tissue. Almost any body part, organ, or fluid can be affected, including bone. This generality suggests a common basis in the physical and chemical properties of water, particularly those relating to cavitation. In this paper, we review a cavitation model developed at the University of Hawaii in which spherical gas nuclei are stabilized by surface-active skins of varying gas permeability. The varying-permeability model provides a precise quantitative description of bubble counts made in supersaturated gelatin, and it accurately predicts levels of incidence for decompression sickness in several animal species, including salmon, rats, and humans.


Decompression Sickness Bubble Formation Bubble Nucleation Nuclear Radius Cavitation Model 
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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • David E. Yount
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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