The Aachen MiniHLM - A miniaturized heart-lung machine for neonates with an integrated rotary blood pump

Jutta Arens*, Heike Schnoering, Michael Pfennig, Ilona Mager, Jaime F. Vázquez-Jiménez, Thomas Schmitz-Rode, Ulrich Steinseifer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


The operation of congenital heart defects in neonates often requires the use of heart-lung machines (HLMs) to provide perfusion and oxygenation. This is prevalently followed by serious complications inter alia caused by hemodilution and extrinsic blood contact surfaces. Thus, one goal of developing a HLM for neonates is the reduction of priming volume and contact surface. The currently available systems offer reasonable priming volumes for oxygenators, reservoirs, etc. However, the necessary tubing system contains the highest volumes within the whole system. This is due to the use of roller pumps; hence, the resulting placement of the complete HLM is between 1 and 2 m away from the operating table due to connective tubing between the components. Therefore, we pursued a novel approach for a miniaturized HLM (MiniHLM) by integrating all major system components in one single device. In particular, the MiniHLM is a HLM with the rotary blood pump centrically integrated into the oxygenator and a heat exchanger integrated into the cardiotomy reservoir which is directly connected to the pump inlet. Thus, tubing is only necessary between the patient and MiniHLM. A total priming volume of 102 mL (including arterial filter and a/v line) could be achieved. To validate the overall concept and the specific design we conducted several in vitro and in vivo test series. All tests confirm the novel concept of the MiniHLM. Its low priming volume and blood contact surface may significantly reduce known complications related to cardiopulmonary bypass in neonates (e.g., inflammatory reaction and capillary leak syndrome).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-713
Number of pages7
JournalArtificial organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Heart-Lung machine
  • Neonates
  • Oxygenation
  • Perfusion
  • Priming volume
  • Rotary blood pump


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