A Smart Solution for Cannulation Bottlenecks in Mini-invasive Open Heart Surgery

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About 50 years ago,1 the first successful open heart operations were performed with cardiopulmonary bypass. To allow for reliable intracardiac repair, a man-made machine was responsible for the work of the patient’s heart and lungs for a limited period of time. Of course, the so-called pump oxygenator, a device maintaining gas exchange (oxygenation and CO2 removal) and blood pressure, was at the core. A typical heart–lung machine used in the 1950s is shown in Figure 1, and a lot of ancillary equipment has been added since. However, the main basic components, i.e. the artificial lung (at that time excentric rotating drums) and the pump, can still be found in modern machines that now rely on disposable membranes for gas exchange.


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