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Ann Biomed Eng. 2018 May;46(5):762-771. doi: 10.1007/s10439-018-1995-9. Epub 2018 Feb 20.

Effects of Hollow Fiber Membrane Oscillation on an Artificial Lung.

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McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 3025 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15203, USA.
ORT Braude College of Engineering, Karmiel, Israel.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 3025 East Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15203, USA.
Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Gas transfer through hollow fiber membranes (HFMs) can be increased via fiber oscillation. Prior work, however, does not directly translate to present-day, full-scale artificial lungs. This in vitro study characterized the effects of HFM oscillations on oxygenation and hemolysis for a pediatric-sized HFM bundle. Effects of oscillation stroke length (2-10 mm) and frequency (1-25 Hz) on oxygen transfer were measured according to established standards. The normalized index of hemolysis was measured for select conditions. All measurements were performed at a 2.5 L min-1 blood flow rate. A lumped parameter model was used to predict oscillation-induced blood flow and elucidate the effects of system parameters on oxygenation. Oxygen transfer increased during oscillations, reaching a maximum oxygenation efficiency of 510 mL min-1 m-2 (97% enhancement relative to no oscillation). Enhancement magnitudes matched well with model-predicted trends and were dependent on stroke length, frequency, and physical system parameters. A 40% oxygenation enhancement was achieved without significant hemolysis increase. At a constant enhancement magnitude, a larger oscillation frequency resulted in increased hemolysis. In conclusion, HFM oscillation is a feasible approach to increasing artificial lung gas transfer efficiency. The optimal design for maximizing efficiency at small fiber displacements should minimize bundle resistance and housing compliance.


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Oxygenator design; Respiratory support

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