Hosam Fathy, Miao Yu, Jin-Oh Hahn

Funding Agency

National Science Foundation




Characterization and Robust Multivariable Control of the Dynamics of Gas Exchange During Peritoneal Oxygenated Perfluorocarbon Perfusion is a five-year, $2.6M NSF collaborative research grant.

This project addresses the critical societal need to develop a lung-independent technique for providing respiratory support to patients with respiratory failure from disorders such as COVID-19. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is the only such technique currently available, but—even when it is available—it is an expensive and scarce resource with complications that preclude it as an option for many patients. This project will develop a “third lung” technology that achieves lung-independent gas exchange by circulating oxygenated perfluorocarbon (PFC, a safe, inert liquid with extraordinary gas-dissolving properties) through the abdominal cavity. This convergent research project integrates bioengineering and control theory with physiology to create a technology with the potential to save thousands of lives every year.

The researchers will push the  boundaries in three specific directions: (i) the development of a multi-functional fiber-optic sensor capable of measuring dissolved gas concentrations in PFC, as well as PFC temperature and pressure; (ii) the use of both benchtop and animal experiments to further characterize and model the fundamental dynamics of “third lung” gas exchange; and (iii) the development of novel robust multivariable control algorithms for the “third lung”, facilitating its potential implementation as a routine adjunct in the treatment of patients with respiratory failure. This convergent research portfolio will bring together a diverse research team from the fields of biomedical engineering, sensing, automatic control, and medicine in pursuit of research with high potential societal impact.

This NSF grant comes after preliminary research results were obtained with an NSF EAGER award. The research also was sponsored by a Fischell Young Investigator award in spring 2021.