Review: Extracorporeal organ support
The artificial endothelium
Volume 7, Issue 1
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Pages 42 - 49http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/org.7.1.14029
Authors: Melissa M. Reynolds and Gail M. Annich View affiliations
As the world of critical care medicine advances, extracorporeal therapies (ECC) have become commonplace in the management of the high risk intensive care patient. ECC encompasses a wide variety of technologies from hemodialysis, continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) and plasmapheresis, to cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), extracorporeal life support (ECLS) and hepatic support. The development of internal man made organs is the next step with ventricular assist devices and artificial lungs. As we advance the technologies with smaller devices, and more intricate circuitry, we lack the keystone necessary to control the blood-biomaterial interface. For the last 50 years much has been learned about surface induced thrombosis and attempts have been made to prevent it with alternative systemic anticoagulation, circuitry surface modifications, or a combination of both. Despite these efforts, systemic or regional anticoagulation remain necessary for both laboratory and clinical application of ECC. As such, the development of an endothelial-like, biomimetic surface to reduce or perhaps even eliminate the blood activation/thrombus formation events that occur upon exposure to artificial surfaces is paramount.