New design for a pumping artificial lung

Anthony J. Makarewicz, Lyle F. Mockros, Constantine Mavroudis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A new prototype of a pumping artificial lung (PAL) has been designed and tested. The device performs the functions of both the pump and oxygenator components of an extracorporeal perfusion circuit. Previous prototypes that the authors developed (Type A) had gas exchanging microporous fibers formed into propeller-like vanes that, upon rotation, pump the blood. The design of the new PAL prototypes (Type B) uses the rotation of an annular bank of fibers to drive flow. The fiber bank, including sealed gas manifolds, lies within the housing of a modified Bio-Medicus BMP-50 pump head (Bio-Medicus, Eden Prairie, MN). Rotation of the fiber bank is driven through a magnetic coupling. Inlet and outlet gas lines enter the pump head through a sealed bearing. The Type A PAL suffered from insufficient pumping rates and gas exchange, necessitating redesign. The authors have constructed two PAL-B prototypes with a priming volume of only 140 ml and gas exchange surface areas of 0.16 and 0.60 m2. During in vitro saline testing, these prototypes showed significant pump performance, pumping 7.0 L/min against zero head at 3,500 rpm. The larger prototype had exchange rates in saline of up to 71 ml O2/min and 75 ml CO2/min. Gas exchange fluxes (O2 = 119 ml/[min · m2] and CO2 = 125 ml/[min · m2]) for the PAL-B are significantly higher than that of commercially available oxygenators in saline. Future prototypes will have increased surface area and fibers smaller than the 0.038 cm outside diameter fibers used in the present prototypes. A primary concern in using microporous fibers to push the blood was the durability of the fibers at high pump speeds. High speeds exhibited no negative effects on gas exchange abilities or fiber durability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M615-M619
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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