Evaluation of a respiratory assist catheter that uses an impeller within a hollow fiber membrane bundle

Kevin M. Mihelc, Brian J. Frankowski, Samuel C. Lieber, Nathan D. Moore, Brack G. Hattler, William J. Federspiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Respiratory assist using an intravenous catheter may be a potential treatment for patients suffering from acute or acute-on-chronic lung failure. The objective of this study was to evaluate a novel respiratory catheter that uses an impeller within the fiber bundle to enhance gas exchange efficiency, thus requiring a smaller fiber bundle and insertional size (25 Fr) and permitting simple percutaneous insertion. Bench testing of gas exchange in deionized water was used to evaluate eight impeller designs. The three best performing impeller designs were evaluated in acute studies in four calves (122 ± 10 kg). Gas exchange increased significantly with increasing impeller rotation rate. The degree of enhancement varied with impeller geometry. The maximum gas exchange efficiency (exchange per unit surface area) for the catheter with the best performing impeller was 529 ± 20 ml CO2/min/m and 513 ± 21 ml CO2/min/m for bench and animal studies, respectively, at a rotation rate of 20,000 rpm. Absolute CO2 exchange was 37 and 36 ml CO2/min, respectively. Active mixing by rotating impellers produced 70% higher gas exchange efficiency than pulsating balloon catheters. The sensitivity of gas exchange to impeller design suggests that further improvements can be made by computational fluid dynamics-based optimization of the impeller.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-574
Number of pages6
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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