NeonatOx: A Pumpless Extracorporeal Lung Support for Premature Neonates

Jutta Arens*, Mark Schoberer, Anne Lohr, Thorsten Orlikowsky, Matthias Seehase, Reint K. Jellema, Jennifer J. Collins, BorisW. Kramer, Thomas Schmitz-Rode, Ulrich Steinseifer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Gas exchange in premature neonates is regularly impaired by structural and functional immaturity of the lung. Mechanical ventilation, which is vitally important to sustain oxygenation and CO2 elimination, causes, at the same time, mechanical and inflammatory destruction of lung tissue. To date, extracorporeal oxygenation is not a treatment option, one reason among others being the size of available oxygenators and cannulas. We hypothesized that a substantial improvement in gas exchange can be achieved by maintenance of the fetal cardiopulmonary bypass and interposition of a suitable passively driven (arteriovenous) membrane oxygenator. In close cooperation between engineers and neonatologists, we developed a miniaturized oxygenator and adapted cannulas to be used as a pumpless extracorporeal lung support that is connected to the circulation via cannulation of the umbilical cord vessels. First in vitro and in vivo studies show promising results. We regard this as one step on the way to clinical application of the artificial placenta.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1001
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Premature neonates
  • Oxygenator
  • Cannula
  • Lung assist
  • Artificial placenta
  • Pumpless

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