Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Skip Navigation LinksCVMBS Home > Academics > Biomedical Sciences Home > Hypo-Hyperbaric Chamber Facility
Hypo-Hyperbaric Chamber Facility



​Ryan Maresh, PhD, CAsP
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Director, Hypo-Hyperbaric Chamber Facility
Phone: (970) 491-3186

​CSU’s recently renovated hypo-hyperbaric chamber is a unique regional resource that was specifically designed for conducting long duration human and large animal research. It "dives and flies" and is currently capable of simulating altitudes from sea level up to 35,000 feet and depths from sea level down to 130 feet of seawater.

Originally designed and built in 1966 with funding from the National Science Foundation and the State of Colorado, the chamber was delivered via railcar and installed in the Physiology Building during the age of the "Space Race," when there was a growing desire for more research on the effects of high altitude.

Ryan Maresh, current director of the facility and an assistant professor, previously trained air force personnel in altitude chambers and devoted his graduate studies to looking at how elevation impacts cognitive function. Maresh is excited to see the updated chamber serve a wider variety of research needs and uses going forward, including for services such as veterinary hyper-baric oxygen therapy treatments for animals.

"There are a lot of possibilities here, not just with the research and veterinary community but with the local civil aviation community as well," Maresh says. The chamber is easily configurable to meet the needs of different research protocols and is uniquely positioned to conduct studies that haven’t yet been done in the veterinary world.

Current and previous research topics include:

  • Acclimatization strategies
  • Equipment testing and evaluation
  • Supplement use and performance at altitude
  • Effect of diet and Acute Mountain Sickness
  • Physical, anatomical, and cellular responses to high altitude exposure (both acute and chronic)
  • Metabolic effects during normobaric hyperoxia

The chamber’s recently upgraded features include:

  • External oxygen manifold for uninterrupted oxygen supply
  • Pressure-demand oxygen regulators and masks for high altitude exposure
  • Flow regulators and rebreather masks for supplemental oxygen delivery at low to moderate altitudes
  • Two-way communication between personnel inside and outside of the chamber
  • Environmental monitoring (data on altitude, barometric pressure, carbon dioxide, oxygen, temperature, and humidity is updated and recorded every 60 seconds)
  • Video monitoring
  • Air conditioning
  • Removable carpet
  • Ethernet