Safe, Low-Cost Anesthesia Using Recycled Xenon Gas

Period of Performance: 09/01/2001 - 02/28/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (Verbatim from the Applicant's Abstract): Xenon gas is a very attractive anesthetic agent because of its minimal effects on the cardiovascular system and rapid induction and emergence. However, xenon is used only rarely because of its high cost compared to common inhaled anesthetic agents. Even if it were not so costly, the limited supply of xenon would greatly restrict its use as an anesthetic. The long-term objective of this application is to make xenon anesthesia available for widespread use at low cost. The specific aim is to develop processes and devices to recycle xenon gas by collecting waste gases from anesthesia procedures, then separating and purifying the xenon for re-use. Phase I proves feasibility by (1) demonstrating the key process steps required to separate xenon from typical anesthetic waste gas, (2) producing conceptual designs for all devices needed to accomplish xenon recovery, and (3) showing by analysis that the cost of recycled xenon will be competitive with common inhaled anesthetic agents. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Low-cost xenon anesthetic gas will be attractive for two broad applications: (1) xenon gas will be the anesthetic agent of choice for a large fraction of the millions of surgical procedures that are performed each year in the United States on patients with cardiovascular conditions; and (2) because of fewer complications and rapid induction and emergence, xenon anesthesia can reduce patient time in the hospital, with large benefits to health care costs. The proposed research will lead directly to processes and devices that will provide a low-cost source of xenon for these widespread applications.