Effects of Hollow Fiber Membrane Oscillation on an Artificial Lung

Ann Biomed Eng. 2018 May;46(5):762-771. doi: 10.1007/s10439-018-1995-9. Epub 2018 Feb 20.


Gas transfer through hollow fiber membranes (HFMs) can be increased via fiber oscillation. Prior work, however, does not directly translate to present-day, full-scale artificial lungs. This in vitro study characterized the effects of HFM oscillations on oxygenation and hemolysis for a pediatric-sized HFM bundle. Effects of oscillation stroke length (2-10 mm) and frequency (1-25 Hz) on oxygen transfer were measured according to established standards. The normalized index of hemolysis was measured for select conditions. All measurements were performed at a 2.5 L min-1 blood flow rate. A lumped parameter model was used to predict oscillation-induced blood flow and elucidate the effects of system parameters on oxygenation. Oxygen transfer increased during oscillations, reaching a maximum oxygenation efficiency of 510 mL min-1 m-2 (97% enhancement relative to no oscillation). Enhancement magnitudes matched well with model-predicted trends and were dependent on stroke length, frequency, and physical system parameters. A 40% oxygenation enhancement was achieved without significant hemolysis increase. At a constant enhancement magnitude, a larger oscillation frequency resulted in increased hemolysis. In conclusion, HFM oscillation is a feasible approach to increasing artificial lung gas transfer efficiency. The optimal design for maximizing efficiency at small fiber displacements should minimize bundle resistance and housing compliance.

Keywords: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Oxygenator design; Respiratory support.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artificial Organs*
  • Cattle
  • Lung*
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Oxygen / blood*


  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Oxygen