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Open AccessArticle

Development of a CO2 Sensor for Extracorporeal Life Support Applications

Department of Electrical, Electronic and Information Engineering “Guglielmo Marconi” (DEI), Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, 40136 Bologna, Italy
MediCon Ingegneria s.r.l, 40054 Budrio, Italy
Laboratory of Bioengineering, Department of Experimental Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(13), 3613;
Received: 29 May 2020 / Revised: 25 June 2020 / Accepted: 25 June 2020 / Published: 27 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Sensors)
Measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2) in medical applications is a well-established method for monitoring patient’s pulmonary function in a noninvasive way widely used in emergency, intensive care, and during anesthesia. Even in extracorporeal-life support applications, such as Extracorporeal Carbon Dioxide Removal (ECCO2R), Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), and cardiopulmonary by-pass (CPB), measurement of the CO2 concentration in the membrane oxygenator exhaust gas is proven to be useful to evaluate the treatment progress as well as the performance of the membrane oxygenator. In this paper, we present a new optical sensor specifically designed for the measurement of CO2 concentration in oxygenator exhaust gas. Further, the developed sensor allows measurement of the gas flow applied to the membrane oxygenator as well as the estimation of the CO2 removal rate. A heating module is implemented within the sensor to avoid water vapor condensation. Effects of temperature on the sensor optical elements of the sensors are disclosed, as well as a method to avoid signal–temperature dependency. The newly developed sensor has been tested and compared against a reference device routinely used in clinical practice in both laboratory and in vivo conditions. Results show that sensor accuracy fulfills the requirements of the ISO standard, and that is suitable for clinical applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: CO2 sensor; mid-IR; extracorporeal life support devices CO2 sensor; mid-IR; extracorporeal life support devices
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Bellancini, M.; Cercenelli, L.; Severi, S.; Comai, G.; Marcelli, E. Development of a CO2 Sensor for Extracorporeal Life Support Applications. Sensors 2020, 20, 3613.

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