Ex vivo testing of the intravenous membrane oxygenator

William J. Federspiel, Joseph F. Golob, Thomas L. Merrill, Laura W. Lund, Jason A. Bultman, Brian J. Frankowski, Mary Watach, Kenneth Litwak, Brack G. Hattler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Intravenous oxygenation represents a potential respiratory support modality for patients with acute respiratory failure or with acute exacerbations of chronic respiratory conditions. Our group has been developing an intravenous oxygenator, the IMO, which uses a constrained fiber bundle and a rapidly pulsating balloon within the fiber bundle. Balloon pulsation drives blood flow past the fibers at greater relative velocities than would otherwise exist within the host vessel, and gas exchange rates are enhanced. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to characterize the gas exchange performance of the current IMO in an extracorporeal mock vena cava vessel under conditions of known fixed vessel geometry and controlled blood flow rates; and (2) to compare the IMO gas exchange performance to that reported for the clinically tested IVOX device within a comparable ex vivo set-up. The ex vivo flow loop consisted of a 1 inch ID tube as a mock vena cava that was perfused directly from an anesthetized calf at blood flow rates ranging from 1 to 4 1/2 L/min. O2 and CO2 exchange rates were measured for balloon pulsation rates, which ranged from 0 to 180 bpm. Balloon pulsation significantly increased gas exchange, by 200-300% at the lowest blood flow rate and 50-100% at the highest blood flow rate. Balloon pulsation eliminated much if not all of the dependence of the gas exchange rate on blood flow rate as seen in passive oxygenators. This suggests that in clinical application the IMO may exhibit less gas transfer variability due to differences in cardiac output. Over the entire flow rate range studied, the CO2 and O2 gas exchange rates of the IMO at maximal balloon pulsation varied from approximately 250 to 350 ml/min/m2. At maximum balloon pulsation the IMO exchanged CO2 and O2 at rates from 50-500% greater, depending upon the blood flow rate, than the exchange rates reported for the IVOX device in ex vivo tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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