Cooling gloves

Two Stanford biologists, Dennis Grahn and H. Craig Heller, have developed a method for cooling that maximizes heat transfer through the palms of the hands and enables athletes to improve their performances.


The device creates a local pressure environment, Grahn says. �We stick the hand in a rigid chamber with an airtight seal around the wrist, and then we draw a bit of the air out of the chamber. This causes blood to be pulled into the hand. Then we cool the overlying skin surface of the palm of the hand [by circulating cool water through a closed system on which the palm of the hand rests], which cools the blood in the hand’s vascular heat-exchange structures. Arteries deliver blood directly from the heart to these vascular structures, and veins then carry the blood from these structures back to the heart.�

During aerobic exercise the cooler greatly extends endurance. �Under the right circumstances, you can double the endurance of someone working at a fixed load,� says Grahn.

It may soon be adopted by military or factory personnel who work in extreme heat.

The technology could be developed as a glove. “We also want to incorporate it into [a] boot in a way that won’t impede foot performance. With such devices, you could send a soldier in a chemical protective overgarment out into the desert, where he would normally have a limited survival time, and he could survive indefinitely with peak cognitive function,� adds Grahn.


Via Science Daily.