Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

An Anticoagulation-Free Oxygenator for an Artificial Placenta

David Blauvelt, MD


BACKGROUND: An artificial placenta is a promising emerging therapy for extreme prematurity that may be able to support these periviable infants outside the womb. However, hollow-fiber membrane oxygenators for artificial placenta devices are severely limited by anticoagulation needs. GAP: An anticoagulation-free oxygenator has never been developed and remains a key barrier to clinical translation of an artificial placenta into humans. We aim to develop the Silicon Membrane Oxygenator for an Artificial Placenta (SiMOx-AP), an oxygenator designed to operate without anticoagulation. HYPOTHESIS: We hypothesize that rigid and flat-plate semipermeable membranes can be used in an oxygenator with a hemocompatible blood flow path for clot-free operation with minimal or no anticoagulation. METHODS: In Aim 1 of the study, we will evaluate surface coatings, including heparin, polyethylene glycol, and sulfobetaine methacrylate, to improve material hemocompatibility. In Aim 2, we will design blood flow paths that maximize laminar blood flow, optimize shear, and minimize stasis. RESULTS: Pending. IMPACT: This study will demonstrate the feasibility of the SiMOx-AP as an anticoagulation-free oxygenator, and future work will focus on testing the device in acute and long-term large animal models. Website Link:

Supervising Institution:
Nemours Children's Hospital, Delaware

Award Amount: