Membrane Requirements in the Pursuit of Blood Oxygenator Optimization
Until recently, clinical use of blood oxygenators has been restricted to direct contacting devices, in which the blood has a direct interface with oxygen. This is most commonly accomplished by either passing bubbles of oxygen through a continuous phase of blood or filming the blood and allowing oxygen to contact the free surface. In both cases, addition of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide from the blood is readily achieved. However, the high surface energies present at the gas/blood interface causes excessive blood trauma in the form of hemolysis and protein denaturation.(1) This limits such devices to short term heart/lung bypass such as open heart surgery where only several hours of perfusion are required. If clinical applications are to be enlarged to include intermediate and long term support for coronary diseases and pulmonary insufficiency, then means must be found to reduce blood trauma to acceptable physiological levels. Hopefully, this will be the role of the membrane lung.
KeywordsOxygen Transfer Blood Flow Rate Blood Film Membrane Envelope Membrane Lung
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