Lung disease is one of the most important causes of high morbidity in preterm infants. In this work, we study a simple and easy to fabricate microfluidic device that demonstrates a great potential for blood oxygenation. A meander type architecture with double side vertical membrane arrangement has been selected as reference model to investigate the oxygenation process. The design criteria for the fabricated devices has been to maximize the oxygen saturation level while ensuring the physiological blood flow in order to avoid thrombus formation and channel blockage during operation. A mathematical model for the oxygen transfer has been developed and validated by the experimental study. The obtained results demonstrate that blood was successfully oxygenated up to approximately 98% of O2 saturation and that the oxygen transfer rate at 1 mL/min blood flow rate was approximately 92 mL/min m2. Finally, a sensitivity analysis of the key parameters, i.e. size of the channel, oxygen concentration in the gas phase and oxygen permeation properties of the membrane, is carried out to discuss the performance limits and to settle the guidelines for future developments.
- Blood oxygenation
- Microfluidic membrane contactor