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Programmable Pump for Inflation

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  • Programmable Pump for Inflation

    I have been regularly tugging since I started in Jan 2019 . It's been mostly every day with the tlc-x, no weights or straps, just rubber bands and/or manual tugging. I saw good progress early on but lately I've seemed to have plateaued.

    Out of frustration I decided to try inflation. I had avoided it because I was concerned about having baggy foreskin. But after reading about others experience claiming it wasn't an issue I decided to try it.

    I've also frequently read that cyclic tugging is more effective than static. So I decided to try cyclic inflation.

    I was able to put together a programmable pump with inexpensive parts from Amazon. It attaches nicely to my HR direct air device.

    So far I've used it for three weeks about four to five times a day, fifteen minute sessions, The results I I am seeing are impressive. I've finally started to see regular rollover and a lot more slack skin. Given that these gains came so fast I realize they are probably due to mechanical stretch as opposed to real skin growth, but, it sure is pleasing to finally see that rollover.

    The parts consist of:

    Pump ($9.45)

    Programmable Timer ($29.95)

    Hose and pressure gauge scavenged from a blood pressure cuff ($14.95) (optional)

    9V Rechargeable Battery ($13.50)

    Battery holder ($5.98)

    Silver solder, soldering iron and electricians tape

    The timer is programmable via a browser. I currently have mine set to 3 seconds at 80% power (this gets it up to the pressure I want, about 70 mmHg), then 7 seconds at 20% power (this holds it at a steady pressure otherwise the pressure would keep climbing), then 8 seconds at 0% power. Then it repeats till it is shut off.

    It can be attached directly to an inflation device making a compact package. I like having the optional pressure gauge and my hoses are the length they came off the blood pressure cuff. They could be a lot shorter.

    The photo shows my occasional rollover at 32 months.

  • #2
    Thanks flor sharing this option. sounds like an elegant solution for those wanting to try cyclical inflation. Sounds pretty easy to get the supplies and set it up.

    Are you just experimenting on the timing? Or are you trying timings based on the literature?



    • #3
      Hi Greg,
      Yeah, just experimenting, I did see a paper a while ago. I think it was saying after 15 minutes of tensions the cell were “refractory” , not responsive to tension, for six hours. I’m wanting to use it more frequently, It’s still novel for me.

      Do you have some ideas about frequency?


      • #4
        Unfortunately, no. Not having a practical device, I have not looked into it. But it might be interesting to look and see what the researchers have used for timing, and see if there is any consistency and/or recommendations. What I would look for is if anyone has tried experimenting with different frequencies, to see which expands skin the fastest.

        I have found information from the research community that suggests less than 5% of cells are undergoing cell division at any one time, which leads one to think that perhaps that is how many could be triggered at any one point in time. And info suggesting that the full cell cycle takes about a week to complete. But neither gives good practical suggestions for what we are doing. Experimenting is probably the only way to sort it out....

        I will say your solution is intriguing...


        • #5

          I’ve found two papers on cyclic tissue expansion . I tried to leave links but had problems.

          I remember reading some others awhile back but can’t find them.

          The frequencies mentioned range from 1Hz (1 second/cycle) to 0.1 Hz (10 seconds/cycle). One paper stated there was no significant difference between frequency.

          Both mentioned 10-15 minute sessions, then waiting 6 hours between stretch sessions due to cells being refractory due to the presence of p38.

          Neither were using foreskin so I don’t know how applicable the findings are.

          I’ve reduced my cycle time to 10 seconds. My pressure is topping out at 90 mm Hg which is a very intense stretch, but I’m only at that high pressure for a couple of seconds.

          Ive been doing sessions every 1-2 hours. Getting ready to go camping. When I get back, I think I will just do 2 sessions per day.

          Dynamic mechanical input is believed to play a critical role in the development of functional musculoskeletal tissues. To study this phenomenon, cyclic uniaxial mechanical stretch was applied to engineered ligaments using a custom-built bioreactor and ...


          • #6
            Here’s the link to the other article:
            Intermittent cyclic stretching and incrementally increasing strain amplitude cyclic stretching were explored to overcome the reported adaptation of fibroblasts in response to constant amplitude cyclic stretching, with the goals of accelerating collagen ...


            • #7
              Thanks, I will read them this week and let you know what I think. I think you have the opportunity to forge new ground here, potentially demonstrating the value of cyclical tugging in an explicate way.


              • #8
                While those provide some information, they are about different tissues. Unfortunately, most papers are only available behind paywalls, and their abstracts do not go into details. However, I did find this one, where the abstract actually includes the timing. But they were only comparing this one regimen against static tension, still it was more effective, according to their findings:

                excerpt: "...we investigated the in vitro effect of cyclic (10 cycles/min, 150 mmHg) or constant (continuous, 150 mmHg) strain on human keratinocyte phenotype and relevant mechanosignaling pathways. Our results demonstrate that keratinocytes subjected to cyclic strain exhibit a significant (P < 0.05) increase in cell proliferation (49.2 ± 15.8%), DNA synthesis (37.7 ± 4.5%), elongation (20.3 ± 2.7%), and protein synthesis (17.9 ± 6.6% increase) as compared with stationary controls."

                ref: Effect of strain on human keratinocytes in vitro - Takei - 1997 - Journal of Cellular Physiology - Wiley Online Library

                The search continues for good data to support us...


                • #9
                  Just got back from camping. I’ll check out the article later., but from my experience, 150 mmHg is a lot more pressure than I could tolerate!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dancing Man View Post
                    Just got back from camping. I’ll check out the article later., but from my experience, 150 mmHg is a lot more pressure than I could tolerate!
                    Yes. One of our problems in trying to use in vitro studies of skin expansion is that they are: 1) not working on the tissue we are, and 2) generally they are willing to apply a lot more tension than we are, due to the objectives they have. That said, they do not say that lesser amounts of tension are not effective, only that no cycling is less effective. So I suggest it is quite reasonable to experiment with lesser amounts of tension, for what we are doing.



                    • #11
                      I was just thinking this exact same thing: programable air pump for the best cyclic tensioning. I too plateaued a bit from just using the TLC-X but them cyclic MM3 helped start things progressing again. I think air is probably the best all around stretch. I have really been stuck trying to get the CI4 hump over with, and hopefully the Air methods make the difference.