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Organ Replacement Technologies: A New Frontier: The Implantable Artificial Lung

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The Implantable Artificial Lung

The implantable artificial lung is an even more "formidable challenge" than the artificial heart, said Bartley P. Griffith, MD,[6] Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. In the evolution from bubbler to membrane to artificial lung, goals have included efficient gas exchange over a large surface area, durability, biocompatibility, and plasma impermeability. Because the artificial lung is right-heart dependent, it must have low resistance and impedance. The hope is that computerized flow design can optimize blood flow paths and reduce thrombosis, a problem commonly encountered with this technology. On the basis of a survey of lung transplant program directors,[7] Dr. Griffith reported widespread support for the development and use of an artificial lung as a bridge to lung transplantation. He hopes that transplant centers can facilitate progress by sharing ideas for design of the device with laboratories that are developing artificial lungs.

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