Computer-assisted design of an implantable, intrathoracic artificial lung.
A semiempirical mathematical model of convective oxygen transport is used to design a new, low pressure loss, implantable artificial lung that could be used as a bridge to lung transplantation in patients with advanced respiratory failure. The mass transfer and flow friction relations pertinent to the design of a cross-flow hollow fiber membrane lung are described. The artificial lung is designed to transfer over 200 ml/min of oxygen at blood flow rates up to 5 L/min. A compact design and a blood-side pressure loss of < 15 mm Hg allows the device to be implanted in the left chest without the need for a prosthetic blood pump. Surgical implantation of the artificial lung would require the creation of inflow and outflow anastomoses. Oxygen would be supplied via an external source. Blood properties, operating conditions, and empirically determined mass transfer and flow properties are all specified and input into a computer program that numerically solves the design equations. Computer-generated values for the device frontal area, blood path length, and fiber surface area are thereby obtained. The use of this computer-assisted design minimizes the need for extensive trial-and-error testing of prototype devices. Results from in vitro tests of a prototype implantable lung indicate that the mathematical model we describe is an accurate and useful tool in the design of hollow fiber artificial lungs.
Vaslef, SN; Mockros, LF; Cook, KE; Leonard, RJ; Sung, JC; Anderson, RW
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