PAAL Artificial Lung And Blood Pump Under Development

An artificial lung and associated blood pump is being developed by researchers headed by a team from University of Pittsburgh; it is small enough and light enough for patients to wear it and move freely for up to three months. Each year, nearly 350,000 Americans die of some form of lung disease, with another 150,000 patients needing short- and long-term care.

Current treatment methods require patients to be bedridden and sedated while hooked up to cumbersome machinery.


(Wearable artificial lung developed at Pitt)

“Our wearable lung will be designed to get patients up and moving within the hospital setting, which is important for both patient recovery and improving a patient’s status prior to a lung transplant,” said principal investigator William J. Federspiel, William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Bioengineering in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering and director of the Medical Devices Laboratory within the Pitt-UPMC McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

“This project will develop a compact respiratory assist device called the Paracorporeal Ambulatory Assist Lung—known as PAAL—to replace the old techniques,” said Federspiel. “This is a wearable, fully integrated blood pump and lung designed to provide longer-term respiratory support up to one to three months while maintaining excellent blood compatibility.”

The PAAL device will complement recent efforts by the University of Maryland (which developed a wearable artificial pump-lung) by potentially improving the efficiency of the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide and increasing biocompatibility, Federspiel explained.

Philip K. Dick introduced readers to the idea of artificial organs in 1964:

George Walt's corporate existence proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs... they would be left alone if they would reveal the manufacture of their highly sophisticated and successful artificial components. It was, most likely, a West German firm; the cartels were most advanced in such experimentation.

"...if they keep after me, or if they won't make a deal regarding artif-org construction - then it'll be necessary to do something.
(Read more about Dick's artif-orgs)

From Pitt via MedGadget.

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