Navigation Links
Artificial lung mimics real organ's design and efficiency

An artificial lung built by Cleveland researchers has reached efficiencies akin to the genuine organ, using air not pure oxygen as current man-made lungs require - for the source of the essential element.

Use in humans is still years away, but for the 200 million lung disease sufferers worldwide, the device is a major step toward creating an easily portable and implantable artificial lung, said Joe Potkay, a research assistant professor in electrical engineering and computer science at Case Western Reserve University. Potkay is the lead author of the paper describing the device and research, in the journal Lab on a Chip.

The scientists built the prototype device by following the natural lung's design and tiny dimensions. The artificial lung is filled with breathable silicone rubber versions of blood vessels that branch down to a diameter less than one-fourth the diameter of human hair.

"Based on current device performance, we estimate that a unit that could be used in humans would be about 6 inches by 6 inches by 4 inches tall, or about the volume of the human lung. In addition, the device could be driven by the heart and would not require a mechanical pump," Potkay said.

Current artificial lung systems require heavy tanks of oxygen, limiting their portability. Due to their inefficient oxygen exchange, they can be used only on patients at rest, and not while active. And, the lifetime of the system is measured in days.

The Cleveland researchers focused first on improving efficiency and portability.

Potkay, who specializes in micro- and nano-technology, worked with Brian Cmolik, MD, an assistant clinical professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and researcher at the Advanced Platform Technology Center and the Cardiothoracic Surgery department at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. Michael Magnetta and Abigail Vinson, biomedical engineers and third-year students at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, joined the team and helped develop the prototype during the past two years.

The researchers first built a mould with miniature features and then layered on a liquid silicone rubber that solidified into artificial capillaries and alveoli, and separated the air and blood channels with a gas diffusion membrane.

By making the parts on the same scale as the natural lung, the team was able to create a very large surface-area-to-volume ratio and shrink the distances for gas diffusion compared to the current state of the art. Tests using pig blood show oxygen exchange efficiency is three to five times better, which enables them to use plain air instead of pure oxygen as the ventilating gas.

Potkay's team is now collaborating with researchers from Case Western Reserve's departments of biomedical engineering and chemical engineering to develop a coating to prevent clogging in the narrow artificial capillaries and on construction techniques needed to build a durable artificial lung large enough to test in rodent models of lung disease.

Within a decade, the group expects to have human-scale artificial lungs in use in clinical trials.

They envision patients would tap into the devices while allowing their own diseased lungs to heal, or maybe implant one as a bridge while awaiting a lung transplant a wait that lasts, on average, more than a year.


Contact: Kevin Mayhood
Case Western Reserve University

Related biology news :

1. Caltech researchers create the first artificial neural network out of DNA
2. Using artificial, cell-like honey pots to entrap deadly viruses
3. CCNY professor gets grant to develop artificial blood
4. JDRF clinical panel recommends next steps for artificial pancreas clinical testing
5. Notre Dame and Wyoming scientists genetically engineer silkworms to produce artificial spider silk
6. Mimicking nature, water-based artificial leaf produces electricity
7. Researchers build artificial ovary to develop oocytes into mature human eggs
8. New artificial skin could make prosthetic limbs and robots more sensitive
9. UCSF unveils model for implantable artificial kidney to replace dialysis
10. Artificial enzyme removes natural poison
11. DNA puts Stanford chemists on scent of better artificial nose
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/8/2015)... Calif. , Oct. 8, 2015 ... of human interface solutions, announced today that it ... of fiscal 2016 on Thursday, October 22, 2015, ... host a corresponding conference call for analysts and ... during which management may discuss forward-looking information.    ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... , October 8, 2015 ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on ... the Wocket® smart wallet announces that revenues for ... approximately $410,000 compared with $113,00 for the three ... 9 months ended September 30, 2015 were approximately ...
(Date:10/7/2015)... , October 7, 2015 ... company focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... Stanley E. Washington , former long- term executive at ... Directors. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... mobile commerce market and creator of the Wocket® smart ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)...      Q BioMed Inc (OTC: ... into a strategic relationship with Wombat Capital, Ltd., a ... Paris, France based strategic and scientific advisory ... This collaborative arrangement gives Q BioMed and its stakeholders ... well as long established pharmaceutical industry relationships. The advisors ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Exotic ... material handling solutions and components, is opening its latest Parker Store retail location ... facility is Exotic’s second major expansion in Metropolitan Detroit in less than a ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... The ... school age children in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The ... national economy, and the program aims to increase the number of students who ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- MiMedx Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), the leading ... processes to develop and market advanced products and therapies ... Ophthalmic, and the Dental sectors of healthcare, announced today ... the Company has been dismissed by the court.  ... stated, "As we suspected, this case was brought by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: