The intravascular oxygenator and carbon dioxide removal device (IVOX; CardioPulmonics, Salt Lake City, UT) has been shown to perform 30% of the gas exchange in animals and patients with acute respiratory failure. Among the factors that limit gas exchange is the mass transfer resistance in the blood phase. To determine if a reduction in mass transfer resistance by mixing venous blood can enhance the O2 transfer and CO2 removal by IVOX, a right atrium-pulmonary artery venovenous bypass circuit was used in sheep to model the adult vena cava. A size 9 IVOX (894 fibers with 0.41 m2 surface area, n = 5) was incorporated in the bypass circuit and the blood flow controlled by a roller pump ranging from 1 to 4 l/min. An intra-aortic balloon was placed near the shaft of the IVOX and pulsated at the rate adjusted to best improve CO2 removal (100-120 bpm). O2 transfer and CO2 removal were measured with balloon pulsation on and off at different flow rates. Results showed that blood mixing by pulsation of the balloon caused a 25-49% increase in O2 transfer by IVOX, and this increase remained relatively constant throughout the full flow range. CO2 removal was also increased by up to 35%, but at flows between 3.5 and 4 l/min, the effect of mixing was diminished. It is concluded that reduction in the mass transfer resistance by blood mixing improves gas exchange. Because O2 is more diffusion limited, it is more dependent upon mixing of blood for gas exchange than CO2. More design improvements to incorporate active mixing may further enhance the gas exchange performance of IVOX.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering