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1.D.227.  The Extracorporeal Life-support Silicon Membrane (ELSM) Family 

Extracorporeal life support is an advanced therapy that circulates blood through an extracorporeal oxygenator, performing gas exchange outside the body. However, its use is limited by severe complications, including bleeding, clotting, and hemolysis. Semiconductor silicon-based membranes have emerged as an alternative to traditional hollow-fiber semipermeable membranes. These membranes offer excellent gas exchange efficiency and the potential to increase hemocompatibility by improving flow dynamics. Blauvelt et al. 2022 evaluated two next-generation silicon membrane designs, which are intended to be mechanically robust and efficient in gas exchange, while simultaneously reducing fabrication complexity. The "window" design features 10 microm pores on one side and large windows on the back side. The "cavern" design also uses 10 microm pores but contains a network of interconnected buried caverns to distribute the sweep gas from smaller inlet holes. Both designs were shown to be technically viable and able to be reproducibly fabricated. In addition, they both were mechanically robust and withstood 30 psi of transmembrane pressure without breakage or bubbling. At low sweep gas pressures, gas transfer efficiency was similar, with the partial pressure of oxygen in water increasing by 10.7 +/- 2.3 mmHg (mean +/- standard deviation) and 13.6 +/- 1.9 mmHg for the window and cavern membranes, respectively. Gas transfer efficiency was also similar at higher pressures. At 10 psi, oxygen tension increased by 16.8 +/- 5.7 mmHg (window) and 18.9 +/- 1.3 mmHg (cavern). Blauvelt et al. 2022 concluded that silicon membranes featuring a 10 microm pore size can simplify the fabrication process and improve mechanical robustness while maintaining excellent efficiency.

References associated with 1.D.227 family:

Blauvelt, D.G., B.W. Chui, N.C. Higgins, F.J. Baltazar, and S. Roy. (2022). Silicon membranes for extracorporeal life support: a comparison of design and fabrication methodologies. Biomed Microdevices 25: 2. 36472672