Toward development of a higher flow rate hemocompatible biomimetic microfluidic blood oxygenator

Jose Santos, Else M. Vedula*, Weixuan Lai, Brett C. Isenberg, Diana J. Lewis, Dan Lang, David Sutherland, Teryn R. Roberts, George T. Harea, Christian Wells, Bryan Teece, Paramesh Karandikar, Joseph Urban, Thomas Risoleo, Alla Gimbel, Derek Solt, Sahar Leazer, Kevin K. Chung, Sivaprasad Sukavaneshvar, Andriy I. BatchinskyJeffrey T. Borenstein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The recent emergence of microfluidic extracorporeal lung support technologies presents an opportunity to achieve high gas transfer efficiency and improved hemocompatibility relative to the current standard of care in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). However, a critical challenge in the field is the ability to scale these devices to clinically relevant blood flow rates, in part because the typically very low blood flow in a single layer of a microfluidic oxygenator device requires stacking of a logistically challenging number of layers. We have developed biomimetic microfluidic oxygenators for the past decade and report here on the development of a high-flow (30 mL/min) single-layer prototype, scalable to larger structures via stacking and assembly with blood distribution manifolds. Microfluidic oxygenators were designed with biomimetic in-layer blood distribution manifolds and arrays of parallel transfer channels, and were fabricated using high precision machined durable metal master molds and microreplication with silicone films, resulting in large area gas transfer devices. Oxygen transfer was evaluated by flowing 100% O2 at 100 mL/min and blood at 0–30 mL/min while monitoring increases in O2 partial pressures in the blood. This design resulted in an oxygen saturation increase from 65% to 95% at 20 mL/min and operation up to 30 mL/min in multiple devices, the highest value yet recorded in a single layer microfluidic device. In addition to evaluation of the device for blood oxygenation, a 6-h in vitro hemocompatibility test was conducted on devices (n = 5) at a 25 mL/min blood flow rate with heparinized swine donor blood against control circuits (n = 3). Initial hemocompatibility results indicate that this technology has the potential to benefit future applications in extracorporeal lung support technologies for acute lung injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article number888
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Extracorporeal
  • Hemocompatibility
  • Lung
  • Microfluidics
  • Oxygenator


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