Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is seen in huge numbers of patients worldwide, respiratory diseases are the third largest cause of death in the EU. Currently available therapy options for respiratory failure are associated with high morbidity and mortality. In BioMembrOS, we follow a groundbreaking new biomimetic approach, and replicate main characteristics of the most effective respiration found in vertebrates, mainly birds and fish, in order to develop membrane structures that will serve as key elements for a novel generation of artificial respiration devices. To reach this goal, we will optimize geometry of the membrane structure by mimicking microstructure of the gills of fish to increase outer surface per membrane area, mimicking globular shape of the gas transporting inner lumen and interconnected arrangement of membrane fibers of avian respiration; design and control flow characteristics and boundary layer applying µPIV experimental flow investigations and CFD assisted design optimization; design and synthesize bi-soft segment polyurethane membranes with increased hemocompatibility and gas permeability with phase inversion; and d) verify and benchmark the boosted mass transfer capabilities by in-vitro blood tests.


Overview of our Workpackages: Workpackage 1: Management Workpackage 2: Specifications (for Workpackages 3-6) Workpackage 3: Membrane Fiber Design: highly efficient bio-/hemocompatible membrane fibers with inner and outer structuring by mimicking elements of the most efficient respiration systems in nature, the microridges on the membrane surface in fish and airflow in the avian lung. Workpackage 4: 3D Membrane Structure: optimized 3D membrane structures with geometric layout optimized for structural stability, mass transfer (boundary layer control), and hemocompatibility. Work Package 5: Membrane Material: 3D printed coated membrane structures with increased hemocompatibility and gas permeability from novel bi-soft segment polyurethane material. Work Package 6: Integration - validation: validation of the technology developed with our novel biomimetic approach by showing that significantly improved mass transfer can be reached with minimum impact on hemocompatibility. Workpackage 7: In-Vitro Evaluation. Correlating with Workpackages 3-6 Workpackage 8: Dissemination