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Impact of Ischaemic Pre-Conditioning on Oxygen Uptake Kinetics: Implications for training and recovery

   School of Psychology and Sport Science

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  Dr D Gordon  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Research Group

Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences

Proposed supervisory team

Dr Dan Gordon

Dr Marie Gernigon (External - University of Paris-Saclay)


Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Exercise

Summary of the research project

Ischaemic pre-conditioning (IPC) is characterised by brief episodes of ischaemic followed by reperfusion and appears to offer both cardiac and vascular protection against prolonged ischaemia and ischaemia reperfusion injury (Murray et al 2015). Recent works have also offered some insight into potential ergogenic benefits within sport (Marcolo et al 2016, 2017). Such an approach has been cited as enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis, capillary density and promoting enzymatic adaptations key to cardiovascular control and regulation. The study of oxygen kinetics during exercise offers insight into the mechanistic basis of muscle energetics by assessing the integration of the respiratory, cardiovascular, and muscular systems at the onset of exercise (Gordon et al 2011). To date, little is known about how IPC effects both on and off-transit VO2-kinetics with the majority of work focusing on the impact of an IPC intervention pre-exercise. However, understanding from work on prior-priming exercise (Burnely et al. 2012) informs that the application of the IPC either during a preceding bout of exercise or in the recovery period could have profound effects on the subsequent VO2 kinetic response. The implications of these findings will be of significant interest to both clinicians and athletic populations as a speeding of the VO2-kinetics at the onset of exercise, contributes to a reduction on the local muscular strain and enhances O2 availability. This study will bring together world leading expertise from ARU and also the University of Paris-Saclay to investigate the impact of IPC during exercise on VO2-kinetics. The programme will focus on the following themes:

  1. Impact of an IPC intervention during an exercise bout within prescribed domains of work (moderate, heavy and severe) on the VO2-kinetic response in a preceding period of exercise
  2. Impact of an IPC intervention during the recovery period following a prescribed period of exercise on the preceding VO2-kinetic responses
  3. Impact of fluctuating IPC applications during an exercise bout within prescribed domains of work (moderate, heavy and severe) on the VO2-kinetic response in a preceding period of exercise

This project will make use of the extensive facilities within the Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences and will focus on the assessment of the integrated responses of cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular systems during exercise. As such we will make use of such approaches as breath-by-breath analysis, thoracic impedance cardiography, near infrared spectroscopy and localised blood sampling.

Where you'll study



This project is self-funded.

Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps

If you wish to be considered for this project, you will need to apply for our Sport and Exercise Sciences MPhil, PhD. In the section of the application form entitled 'Outline research proposal', please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

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