McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine director Alan Russell, PhD, distinguished university professor of surgery and professor in the University of Pittsburgh departments of Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, and Rehabilitation Science and Technology, received a monetary gift award of $70,000 from ALung Technologies Inc. in support of research efforts in the area of respiratory assist devices. The award was presented to Dr. Russell by ALung's Peter DeComo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Nicholas Kuhn, Chief Operating Officer. ALung believes that the gift augments ongoing studies with the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and its Medical Devices Laboratory headed by William Federspiel, PhD, the William Kepler Whiteford professor of bioengineering, chemical engineering, and surgery, University of Pittsburgh. ALung's supportive effort is a good example of how university spin-out companies can provide support back to the University.
From technology originated at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, ALung is developing the device—the Hemolung Respiratory Assist System—designed to replace or supplement ventilators in hospitals. ALung recently reported that the third German Hemolung patient – the fifth world-wide – recovered well from acute lung exacerbation within 6 days on the Hemolung Respiratory Assist System and received a double-lung transplant 4 weeks later.
The Hemolung Respiratory Assist System removes carbon dioxide and delivers oxygen directly to the patient's blood via a small catheter, inserted into the jugular or femoral vein, similar to acute kidney dialysis. This treatment provides a significant benefit over intubation and mechanical ventilation, in that it will allow the patient to talk and eat, and avoid sedation, while giving the lungs the opportunity to heal.
Photograph: (left to right) Nicholas Kuhn, Chief Operating Officer, ALung; McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Dr. William Federspiel; Peter DeComo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ALung; and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine director Dr. Alan Russell.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine In the News: McGowan Institute-Developed Technology—The Hemolung Respiratory Assist System—Used as a Successful Bridge to Lung Transplant