Studies in the Development of Membrane-Based Extracorporeal Devices for the Therapeutic Management of Diseases with Circulating Pathomolecules

  • S. K. Gautam


Extracorporeal devices [ECDs] are medical appliances placed outside the body which permit the processing of blood under controlled conditions. The extracorporeal treatment of blood can assist and support a failing organ in line with its style of functioning and thereby abort the lifethreatening consequences of the failed organ. Organ failure can be the long term consequence of circulating pathomolecules lodging in the capillary network of organs leading to a number of biological events. Circulating immune complexes (CIC), one such species of pathomolecule leading to organ failure, have been detected in the blood of patients of a number of malignancies and autoimmune diseases (Theofilopoulos & Dixon, 1979). Due to the continuous release of tumor antigens in these diseases, immune complexes are formed which later act as “blocking factors” and mask, modulate, or cause shedding of tumor associated antigens so that sensitized effector lymphocytes no longer recognise their antigenicity. Because of the critical role of CIC in the pathogenesis of lesions leading to organ failure, considerable efforts have been directed towards the development of techniques to artificially remove them from the blood, a recommended modality of therapeutic management of many of these diseases (WHO, 1977). Extracorporeal treatment of blood based on crossflow membrane filtration of blood has opened the possibility of physically manipulating the immune response (the so called ‘immunosurgery’) by removal of such CIC at the bedside thereby forming what can be termed ‘therapeutic artificial organs’.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Shear Rate Cotton Fabric Hollow Fibre Growth Rate Constant 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Gautam
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Associate, Membrane Technology Lab, Chemical Eng Dept and School of Biomedical EnggIndian Institute of TechnologyBombayIndia

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