Fluid Mechanics for Bio-Applications: Total Artificial Lung


A proposed pumpless Total Artificial Lung (TAL) device is currently under development. It has shown high potential for respiratory support in preliminary animal and clinical trails. The device consists of an array of circular shaped hollow-fiber membrane housed in an outer box. The device is connected to pulmonary circulation either in parallel or in series by the venous and arterial ports. De-oxygenated blood flows over the membrane, whereas, the oxygen supply is maintained within the hollow fibers. It results in proper gas exchange, thus, leading to the oxygenation of the blood. The proposed TAL device overcomes several limitations associated with the other devices currently researched or under clinical usage. It is compact in size, envisioned to be ambulatory, has minimal blood trauma (as it has no mechanical pump) and is aimed to support patients with long term respiratory needs. However, the basic design of the TAL device needs to be optimized. It must be reconsidered to match the respiratory needs in humans while matching the impedance and resistance of the device with the pulmonary circulation. We computationally investigate the proposed device design by solving coupled Navier-Stokes and mass transport equations. We have recently propose a new design that can substantially improve the performance of the device.


Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, USA.