After five years of painstaking research, the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi 'an Jiaotong University (XJTU) jointed hands with National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials of Sichuan University and other partners have developed a domestic ECMO system with long-lasting stable anticoagulation surface coating, breaking the technological monopoly of foreign countries in this medical equipment. Next, a complete set of domestic high-end medical devices with better biocompatibility will be released into the Chinese market in the near future.
ECMO is widely recognized as the ultimate lifesaver. The use of ECMO represents the highest level of a hospital, a region and even a country in the management of critically ill patients. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 this year, the value of ECMO in life support has been highlighted, saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of severe COVID-19 patients. However, currently, all ECMO equipment and consumables in China totally rely on importation, which are completely monopolized by foreign enterprises. Especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, the shortage of ECMO equipment and consumables in China became more prominent. Besides, the excessively high cost also significantly hindered the promotion and application of ECMO technology in China.
ECMO system consists of three key technologies including membrane oxygenator manufacturing, blood pump design and anti-coagulation coating technology. Anti-coagulation coating technology has been monopolized by foreign enterprises for a long period of time, which leads to difficulties in the localization of this "ultimate lifesaver".
How to improve the histocompatibility of ECMO system, reduce blood damage, alleviate inflammation and thrombosis are the pivot technologies to prolong the service life of ECMO system. National Engineering Research Center for Biomaterials of Sichuan University has established long-lasting anticoagulation coating technology, and XJTU has developed centrifugal pump and program-controlled monitoring system. On this basis, the domestic ECMO system has been jointly developed with Shaanxi Jingdian Biotechnology Co., Ltd., which has stable performance and excellent biocompatibility through repeated tests and large animal experiments.
At present, the prototype of domestic ECMO system with long-lasting stable anticoagulant coating has been prepared, which is expected to break the technological monopoly by foreign enterprises, significantly lower the sale price, bring benefit to more patients and save their lives.