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Institute for Mathematical Methods in Medicine and Data Based Modeling
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Next Generation Veno-Venous ECMO Via Flow Optimization (ECMOPT)

ECMOPT aims at surpassing the current standards in veno-venous Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (VV-ECMO), by the introduction of an optimization paradigm. VV-ECMO is a well-established procedure used in Intensive Care Units (ICU) to treat patients with pulmonary failure.

The blood of the patient is drained via a cannula positioned in the inferior vena cava, oxygenated and reinserted via another cannula located in the superior vena cava. VV-ECMO is the standard procedure in the case of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), and is currently used for Covid-19 patients in ICU. Still, its efficacy is very limited.

The optimization of the procedure is an open question in the field of Intensive Care Medicine, but the consensus is that its shortcomings are intrinsically associated with blood circulation. Patient-specific computational modeling proved extremely beneficial for other cardiovascular issues (like the treatment of aneurysms, left ventricular arrhythmia, or atrial fibrillation), but it has so far not been used to study VV-ECMO.

ECMOPT will exploit the potential of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations on real geometries, coupled with patient-specific data obtained from Kepler University Klinikum to better understand the dynamics at play during VV-ECMO and devise a shape optimization tool to maximize the efficiency of the reinsertion cannula for oxygenated blood.


Univ.-Prof. Dr.med.univ. Jens Meier,
Luca Gerardo-Giorda


Cornelia Strasser,
Dr. Massimiliano Leoni