A hyperbaric chamber designed, built and certified by the Hyperbaric Centre of Ravenna to study the effects of hyperbarism on tumors

The experimental hyperbaric chamber for laboratory testing was actually triggered by a request of collaboration between the Meldola Scientific Institute of Romagna for the Study and Treatment of Cancer (I.R.S.T.) and the Hyperbaric Centre of Ravenna. The main goal is to study the effects of hyperbarism on two kinds of tumors, specifically Myeloid leukemia and Glioblastoma and to evaluate the benefits of the hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on the treatment of tumors.

The Centre designed, built and certified a fit-for-purpose hyperbaric chamber. It is 1060 cm long and 355 cm wide. The inner side consists of 5 movable shelves where 64 laboratory flasks can be treated simultaneously.


The hyperbaric chamber has a working pressure of 5.5 bars and a hydrostatic testing pressure of 9.0 bars.

It can be compressed with various gases depending on needs, such as oxygen, nitrogen, carbox, nitrox and heliox. Through a control console it is possible to manage and check different parameters: compression, decompression, depth (analogical and digital), inner temperature and tests length by a time timer watch. It is also possible to analyse the inner atmosphere of the chamber. The electrical system of the chamber has been made in accordance with the community directive ATEX 94/9/CE – ATEX 99/92/CE.

All the materials used by the research and to be left inside the chamber are previously tested by a compression test of 6 ATA, in order to evaluate their endurance and suitability for use.

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The staff of the Hyperbaric Centre has gathered great experience and high technical competences: in more than 27 years of activity this is the fourth prototype of the “research” series, designed and made entirely by our staff.

The prototypes list consists of:

  • Movable experimental chamber for the organs’ transport and perfusion (liver), University of Ferrara and San Marino, year 2000/2007.
  • Deep water (250 meters) chamber (26 ATA) Heliox Tables test, Italian Navy year 2004.
  • Movable experimental chamber for transport, perfusion and transplant (kidney and liver), University of Bologna year 2007/2016.

It is important to remember that all the projects and tests are controlled by the Directorate of our centre and supervised by our Medical Director, Dr. Pasquale Longobardi. Furthermore, in order to maintain the high quality security standards, the management of the experimental chambers during tests is always entrusted to our properly trained hyperbaric technicians.

According to the Hyperbaric Centre of Ravenna it is really important to invest in research: we strongly believe that active contribution is fundamental in this sector.

We hope that our small contribution leads to the improvement of our many patients’ care pathways.

Gian Luca Baroni, Chief Technician of the Hyperbaric Centre of Ravenna

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