Microstructured Hollow Fiber Membranes: Potential Fiber Shapes for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenators

  • Posted on: 13 July 2021
  • By: ygfoehler
TitleMicrostructured Hollow Fiber Membranes: Potential Fiber Shapes for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenators
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsEcker P, Pekovits M, Yorov T, Haddadi B, Lukitsch B, Elenkov M, Janeczek C, Jordan C, Gfoehler M, Harasek M
Start Page374
Date Published05/2021
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenators are essential medical devices for the treatment of patients with respiratory failure. A promising approach to improve oxygenator performance is the use of microstructured hollow fiber membranes that increase the available gas exchange surface area. However, by altering the traditional circular fiber shape, the risk of low flow, stagnating zones that obstruct mass transfer and encourage thrombus formation, may increase. Finding an optimal fiber shape is therefore a significant task. In this study, experimentally validated computational fluid dynamics simulations were used to investigate transverse flow within fiber packings of circular and microstructured fiber geometries. A numerical model was applied to calculate the local Sherwood number on the membrane surface, allowing for qualitative comparison of gas exchange capacities in low-velocity areas caused by the microstructured geometries. These adverse flow structures lead to a tradeoff between increased surface area and mass transfer. Based on our simulations, we suggest an optimal fiber shape for further investigations that increases potential mass transfer by up to 48% in comparison to the traditional, circular hollow fiber shape.

Short TitleMembranes