Engineering Development

It was previously reported that Alcor is designing a new integrated cardiopulmonary bypass system for its air transportable perfusion (ATP) system. During cryopreservation cases, the ATP takes over the function of the patient’s own heart and a heat exchanger in the heart-lung machine reduces the patient’s temperature to a few degrees above the freezing point of water. Blood is also replaced with an organ preservation solution that is specially designed to support life at low temperature.

This ATP design, still under evaluation, has several advantages. For instance, it uses a centrifugal pump, which is significantly safer than peristaltic pumps because they make it much more difficult to create dangerously high pressures and are much less prone to passing massive gas emboli (air bubbles).

The system has been successfully tested with liquid, and flow rates up to about 6 liters per minute were possible. However, the control board got rather hot and will require a heat sink. A slightly larger motor with lower speed may assist with this as well. Given that the motor is only a few ounces, this change will only affect the design minimally.

Further details of the design improvements and testing outcomes will be discussed in later issues.