Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Gated Spiral Membrane Oxygenator as a Prosthetic Lung

Technology #6007

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Spiral gated membrane oxygenator
Robert H. Bartlett
Managed By
Janani Ramaswamy
Licensing Specialist, Medical Deviceses 734-763-9081
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
US Patent Pending

This spiral membrane oxygenator technology (also called a prosthetic lung) can be used to oxygenate blood in heart lung machines and extracorporeal oxygenators to maintain blood oxygenation in patients. This machine is used in patients with respiratory failure and patients undergoing heart surgeries such as coronary bypass surgery. 395,000 coronary bypass surgeries were performed in 2010. Thus, this technology can help a significant patient population.

Mixing Due to Secondary Flow Increases Oxygenation

This technology uses gated spiral flow of the blood which results in secondary flow. The secondary flow results in increased mixing which improves oxygenation. The formation of blood clots (thrombus) is a major problem that limits the use of heart-lung machines and ECMO to a few hours and a few weeks respectively. This technology reduces the tendency to form blood clots and extends the time that patients can be managed using a prosthetic lung. This technology may also act as a bridge to transplant for lung transplant candidates whom are adversely affected by the limited supply of donor lungs. This technology can significantly improve surgical and intensive care outcomes.


  • Membrane oxygenator in ECMO, heart lung machine
  • Prosthetic lung as a bridge to lung transplant


  • Induces less blood clot (thrombus) formation
  • Shows improved gas exchange
  • Is Smaller
  • Is Easier to manufacture
  • Shows easy clearance of water from the gas phase