In Vivo 5 Day Animal Studies of a Compact, Wearable Pumping Artificial Lung
Recent studies show improved outcomes in ambulated lung failure patients. Ambulation still remains a challenge in these patients. This necessitates development of more compact and less cumbersome respiratory support specifically designed to be wearable. The Paracorporeal Ambulatory Assist Lung (PAAL) is being designed for providing ambulatory support in lung failure patients during bridge to transplant or recovery. We previously published in vitro and acute in vivo results of the PAAL. This study further evaluates the PAAL for 5 days. Five-day in vivo studies with the PAAL were conducted in 50–60 kg sheep after heparinization (activated clotting time range: 190–250 s) and cannulation with a 27 Fr. Avalon Elite dual-lumen cannula. The animals were able to move freely in a stanchion while device flow, resistance, and hemodynamics were recorded hourly. Oxygenation and hemolysis were measured daily. Platelet activation, blood chemistry, and comprehensive blood counts are reported for preoperatively, on POD 0, and POD 5. Three animals survived for 5 days. No study termination resulted from device failure. One animal was terminated on POD 0 and one animal was terminated at POD 3. The device was operated between 1.93 and 2.15 L/min. Blood left the device 100% oxygenated. Plasma-free hemoglobin ranged 10.8–14.5 mg/dl. CD62-P expression was under 10%. Minimal thrombus was seen in devices at explant. Chronic use of the PAAL in awake sheep is promising based on our study. There were no device-related complications over the study course. This study represents the next step in our pathway to eventual clinical translation.