Blood flow distribution in sorbent beds: analysis of a new sorbent device for hemoperfusion

Int J Artif Organs. 2000 Feb;23(2):125-30.


A new polymer-based sorbent cartridge has been recently developed for enhancing middle molecule removal during hemodialysis. The cartridge (Betasorb, Renaltech, New York, USA) has been designed to be placed in series with the dialyzer in the blood circuit. It is therefore important to evaluate the distribution of flow into the blood compartment of the device in order to assess if the surface of the sorbent is utilized to the best. For this purpose, a special imaging technique was utilized. Cartridges were analyzed during a simulated in vitro circulation at 250 and 350 ml/min of blood flow and 25% and 40% hematocrit. Cartridges were placed in vertical position and a cross longitudinal section 1 cm thick was analyzed in sequence by a helical scanner. Dye was injected into the arterial inlet and the progressive distribution was evaluated by sequential densitometrical measures carried out automatically by the machine. The sequential images analyzed by the scanner demonstrated excellent distribution of the flow in the blood compartment with minimal difference between the central and the peripheral regions of the compartment. In particular the following flow velocity pattern could be observed under the different experimental conditions tested. We may conclude that the cartridge design is adequate and no channelling effects could be detected in the blood compartment. The flow distribution is slightly affected by changes in flow rate and hematocrit showing an optimal utilization of the available surface for molecule adsorption.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Equipment Design
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Renal Dialysis / instrumentation*
  • Rheology


  • Polymers