3D Printed Microfluidic Artificial Lung

Current microfluidic fabrication techniques are slow and limited to 2D designs. With advancements to DLP/SLA technologies in the last decade, achieving micron scale resolutions are now attainable via 3D printing. This project aims to overcome the limitations of traditional microfluidic fabrication by 3D printing a microfluidic artificial lung using a commercially available 3D printer in combination with a custom photopolymerizable resin. This work is supported via VA RR&D grant #I21RX002403.

Image caption: (A) 3D printed lung being removed from the printer. (B) 3D printed lung assembled with tubing connections for testing. (C) Zoomed-in view of internal microfluidic channels comprising 3D printed lung. (D) 3D printed lung tested with blood.

Microfluidic Artificial Lungs

This work focuses on the optimization of small-scale microfluidic artificial lungs using 1) biomimetic vascular networks, 2) Computional Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations, 3) coatings (such as PEG), and 4) supplemental nitric oxide sweep gas to reduce clotting in devices and ultimately increase device longevity. By optimizing these microfluidic artificial lungs at the small scale, we hope to alleviate some of the challenges associated with scaling-up these devices to priming volumes sufficient for supporting adult patients. This work aims to produce microfluidic artificial lungs with high enough gas exchange efficiency to use room air alone (no compressed oxygen tank), which could vastly improve the quality of life of those afflicted by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or other respiratory ailments. This work is supported via VA RR&D grant I01RX000390 and NIH grant R01HL144660.

Smart Control Systems for Artificial Lungs

This project seeks to develop artificial lung systems that automatically respond to the moment-to-moment needs of the patient. Such systems are critical for next generation wearable artificial lungs to enable a range of daily activity levels. This work is supported via NIH grant R21HL40995 and VA RR&D grant I01RX003114.

Thompson, A. J. et. al. (2020). Low-Resistance, Concentric-Gated Pediatric Artificial Lung for End-Stage Lung Failure. ASAIO Journal, 66(4), 423–432

Development of a Pediatric/Neonatal Artificial Lung

This work focuses on the development of a novel hollow fiber artificial lung sized and optimized to provide complete pulmonary support for pediatric or neonatal patients with diseased or underdeveloped lungs. This novel artificial lung, called the M-Lung, is unique in that it incorporates circular blood flow paths in the device, causing secondary flows within the device that increases gas exchange efficiency compared to current commercial oxygenators. Additionally, the M-Lung has a very low resistance to blood flow such that the lung is attached pumplessly between the pulmonary artery and left atrium. This configuration is intended to relieve pulmonary hypertension (in addition to providing gas exchange), which is common in the target patient population.

A Wearable CO2 Removal Device for Veteran Rehabilitation from Lung Disease

This work focuses on the development of a novel hollow fiber artificial lung sized and optimized to provide CO2 ventilation support for adults with COPD or other chronic (and acute) respiratory ailments. The CO2 removal artificial lung, or CORAL, is portable and designed to be operated without the need for an external blood pump.

Human-Scale Microfluidic Artificial Lung

This works seeks to use roll-to-roll manufacturing technique to build and test the world's first adult-scale microfluidic artificial lungs. This work is supported via NIH grant R01HL144660.