We propose to develop a novel microfluidic approach that will enable the realization of a truly long-term implantable artificial lung. There have been considerable advances in membrane oxygenation, including our own previous work in creating a hollow fiber membrane array that is more efficient than natural lungs at gas exchange with room air. Despite these advances, the underlying fiber technology presents a large surface area to blood, causing fouling of the membrane and activation of the blood, which increases the chance of blood clots and often necessitates the need for anticoagulation therapy. Our novel solution incorporates the previous work to perform gas exchange with air but utilizes microfluidic technology to perform gas exchange with blood in a membrane-free manner. In this proposal we present our previous work towards this development including our initial analysis of the device design and efficiency. By the end of Phase I we will have demonstrated the feasibility of our approach and prepared detailed drawings of an integrated artificial lung design that we will further develop in Phase II and test in animal studies. Infoscitex is fully committed to realizing our end goal of a fully implantable artificial lung and stands to make a considerable impact in the field of respiratory assist devices with this technology and acute support devices developed in parallel.

Public Health Relevance

The concept of using an artificial lung in clinical medicine to take over the gas exchange function of the native lung dates to the development of the heart-lung machine in 1954. Most blood gas exchange devices utilize membranes to perform the gas exchange, which damages the blood and can cause dangerous blood clots. More recently, some scientists have explored adding a highly oxygenated liquid directly into the blood, removing the liquid downstream from the insertion point. While less damaging to the blood, these systems have limited means of removing carbon dioxide from blood and cannot be used in a chronic condition. Our system utilizes the best of the concepts from these two approaches and builds on our previous work to develop a membraneless interface to the blood for exchanging both oxygen and carbon dioxide between blood and room air. Our final end goal is to develop a completely implantable artificial lung for chronic care, although our technology can be used for other parallel devices along the way to this end goal. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RES-E (10))
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Harabin, Andrea L
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Infoscitex Corporation
United States
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