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Organogenesis. 2011 Jan-Mar;7(1):23-7. Epub 2011 Jan 1.

Artificial lung basics: fundamental challenges, alternative designs and future innovations.

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  • 1University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY, USA.


There exists a growing demand for new technology that can take over the function of the human lung, from assisting an injured or recently transplanted lung to completely replacing the native organ. Many obstacles must be overcome to achieve the lofty goals and expectations of such a device. An artificial lung must be able to sustain the gas exchange requirements of a normal functioning lung. Pursuant to this purpose, the device must maintain appropriate blood pressure, decrease injury to blood cells and minimize clotting and immunologic response. Attachment methods vary, and ideally researchers want to find a way that minimizes bodily trauma, maximizes gas exchange and utilizes the inherent properties of the native lung. The currently proposed methods include the parallel, in-series and venous double-lumen cannula configurations. For the time being, current research focuses on the extracorporeal (i.e., outside the body) placement, but ultimate long-term goals look toward total implantation.

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