HEXMO: Miniaturized ECMO

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Editor’s Note:

A submission and link found on Gruppo dei Perfusionisti!!!.

Submitted by:  Hiroyuki Kuromitsu

This technology is still in the research stages, but seems very workable and sophisticated.  I have no idea about a time table for in-vivo human trials.



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Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation can achieve sufficient gas exchange in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. A highly integrated extracorporeal membrane oxygenator (HEXMO) was developed to reduce filling volume and simplify management. Six female pigs were connected to venovenous HEXMO with a total priming volume of 125 ml for 4 hours during hypoxemia induced by a hypoxic inspired gas mixture.

Animals were anticoagulated with intravenous heparin. Gas exchange, hemodynamics, hemolysis, and coagulation activation were examined. One device failed at the magnetic motor coupling of the integrated diagonal pump.

In the remaining five experiments, the oxygenation increased significantly (arterial oxygen saturation [SaO2] from 79 ± 5% before HEXMO to 92% ± 11% after 4 hours) facilitated by a mean oxygen transfer of 66 ± 29 ml/dl through the oxygenator. The CO2 elimination by the HEXMO reduced arterial PaCO2 only marginal. Extracorporeal blood flow was maintained at 32% ± 6% of cardiac output.

Hemodynamic instability or hemolysis was not observed. The plasmatic coagulation was only mildly activated without significant platelet consumption. The HEXMO prototype provided sufficient gas exchange to prevent hypoxemia.

This proof of concept study supports further development and design modifications to increase performance and to reduce coagulation activation for potential long-term application.