Description of a flow optimized oxygenator with integrated pulsatile pump

Ralf Borchardt*, Peter Schlanstein, Jutta Arens, Roland Graefe, Fabian Schreiber, Thomas Schmitz-Rode, Ulrich Steinseifer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a well-established therapy for several lung and heart diseases in the field of neonatal and pediatric medicine (e.g., acute respiratory distress syndrome, congenital heart failure, cardiomyopathy). Current ECMO systems are typically composed of an oxygenator and a separate nonpulsatile blood pump. An oxygenator with an integrated pulsatile blood pump for small infant ECMO was developed, and this novel concept was tested regarding functionality and gas exchange rate. Pulsating silicone tubes (STs) were driven by air pressure and placed inside the cylindrical fiber bundle of an oxygenator to be used as a pump module. The findings of this study confirm that pumping blood with STs is a viable option for the future. The maximum gas exchange rate for oxygen is 48 mL/min/Lblood at a medium blood flow rate of about 300 mL/min. Future design steps were identified to optimize the flow field through the fiber bundle to achieve a higher gas exchange rate. First, the packing density of the hollow-fiber bundle was lower than commercial oxygenators due to the manual manufacturing. By increasing this packing density, the gas exchange rate would increase accordingly. Second, distribution plates for a more uniform blood flow can be placed at the inlet and outlet of the oxygenator. Third, the hollow-fiber membranes can be individually placed to ensure equal distances between the surrounding hollow fibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-910
Number of pages7
JournalArtificial organs
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial lung
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Hollow fiber
  • Miniaturization
  • Neonatal
  • Optimized flow pattern
  • Pediatric
  • Pulsatile flow
  • Silicone tubes


Dive into the research topics of 'Description of a flow optimized oxygenator with integrated pulsatile pump'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this