Design Engineering

HemoSep tech recycles patient’s blood during surgery

By Design Engineering staff   

General Medical CSA engineering surgery

Biomedical engineering breakthrough receives Canadian national approval for use.

Biomedical engineering researchers that autotransfusion technology developed at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, has received the European CE mark and Canadian National approval for use.

The device, called HemoSep, is designed to recover blood spilled during open-heart and major trauma surgery and concentrate the blood cells for transfusion back to the patient. This processreduces the volume of donor blood required and the problems associated with transfusion reaction.

“The introduction of HemoSep to the medical device field will make a significant difference to people’s lives and greatly reduce the cost and risks associated with blood transfusions,” said Professor Terry Gourlay, who led the development of the technology at the University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering. “The technology has distinct advantages over traditional techniques which are not only costly but technically challenging and involve the use of a complex centrifuge and pumping apparatus by specialist technicians.”

In the clinical trials, carried out in more than 100 open-heart surgery operations, the use of the HemoSep device significantly reduced the need for blood transfusions together with preservation of normal clotting mechanisms and a reduction in the inflammatory reaction often encountered after such surgical procedures.


The device consists of a blood bag, which employs a chemical sponge technology and a mechanical agitator to concentrate blood sucked from the surgical site or drained from the heart-lung machine after the surgery. The separated cells are then returned to the patient by intravenous transfusion.

Professor Serdar Gunaydin, Head of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Kirikkale where the trials were conducted, said: “The technology is a real step forward in the field of autotransfusion for cardiac surgery, being highly effective, easy to use and associated with a reduction in the need for donor transfusion and blood loss in these patients.”


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