Oxygen Transfer in a Convection-Enhanced Hollow Fiber Bioartificial Liver


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Mr. A.R. Veitch, Department of Statistics and Modelling Science, University of Strathclyde, Livingstone Tower, Richmond Street, Glasgow G1 1XH, U.K.


Abstract: A mathematical model was developed to predict oxygen transport in a hollow fiber bioartificial liver device. The model parameters were taken from the HepatAssist 2000 device, a plasma perfused hollow fiber cartridge with primary hepatocytes seeded in the extracapillary space. Cellular oxygen uptake was based on Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Oxygen transport due to the convective flow of plasma into the extracapillary space was considered. The effect of modulating several important parameters was investigated, namely, the Michaelis-Menten constant Vm (the maximum oxygen consumption per unit volume of the cell mass), the oxygen partial pressure, the flow rate of the plasma at device inlet, and the permeability of the cell mass contained in the extracapillary space. A computer implementation of the model was used to assess whether a given number of cells could be maintained within such a device. The results suggest that a substantial proportion of the hepatocytes are exposed to hypoxic conditions under which metabolism may be impaired.