Introducing 3D-potting: a novel production process for artificial membrane lungs with superior blood flow design

Felix Hesselmann* (Corresponding Author), Jannis M. Focke, Peter C. Schlanstein, Niklas Steuer, Sebastian D. Reinartz, Thomas Schmitz-Rode, Ulrich Steinseifer, Sebastian V. Jansen, Jutta Arens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Currently, artificial-membrane lungs consist of thousands of hollow fiber membranes where blood flows around the fibers and gas flows inside the fibers, achieving diffusive gas exchange. At both ends of the fibers, the interspaces between the hollow fiber membranes and the plastic housing are filled with glue to separate the gas from the blood phase. During a uniaxial centrifugation process, the glue forms the “potting.” The shape of the cured potting is then determined by the centrifugation process, limiting design possibilities and leading to unfavorable stagnation zones associated with blood clotting. In this study, a new multiaxial centrifugation process was developed, expanding the possible shapes of the potting and allowing for completely new module designs with potentially superior blood flow guidance within the potting margins. Two-phase simulations of the process in conceptual artificial lungs were performed to explore the possibilities of a biaxial centrifugation process and determine suitable parameter sets. A corresponding biaxial centrifugation setup was built to prove feasibility and experimentally validate four conceptual designs, resulting in good agreement with the simulations. In summary, this study shows the feasibility of a multiaxial centrifugation process allowing greater variety in potting shapes, eliminating inefficient stagnation zones and more favorable blood flow conditions in artificial lungs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalBio-Design and Manufacturing
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 21 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Manufacturing
  • Potting process
  • Hollow fiber membrane module
  • artificial lung
  • Membrane lung
  • Flow design

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