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Artificial Lung

While mechanical ventilators can help people with breathing for a short time, they sometimes cause lung damage.

The McGowan Institute is working on new devices that help oxygenate blood before it gets to the lungs.

Contact Us

McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Bridgeside Point II 
450 Technology Drive
Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Read information on campus shuttles.

Phone: 412-624-5500
Fax: 412-624-5363

Hemolung® RAS

William J. Federspiel, PhD, and the late Brack Hattler, MD, of the McGowan Institute created the Hemolung technology now licensed by LivaNova (formerly Alung Technologies).

Commercial operations began in 2001 with work focusing on advancing Dr. Hattler’s intravenous oxygenator known as the Hattler Catheter®.

Development of the Hemolung RAS — a dialysis-like alternative or supplement to mechanical ventilation — began in 2005. Human clinical trials began in 2010. The device received CE-mark approval in 2013.

In 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Liva Nova's (formerly ALung) investigational device exemption (IDE) of the Hemolung RAS.

The FDA’s approval of the IDE:

  • Allows ALung to conduct a clinical trial of the Hemolung RAS to treat adults with sudden worsening of COPD symptoms.
  • Makes ALung’s VENT-AVOID trial the first key study of extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO2R) for treating people with severe COPD exacerbations.

The Hemolung is for short-term use, and its current form often confines patients to the hospital or home.