A serpentine gas exchange unit was built with cylindrical tubular microporous membranes featuring periodic arcs with a fixed curvature ratio (ratio of tube radius to radius of curvature) of 1/14 and circular angles between 30 and 360 deg. Oxygen transfer was measured under steady and pulsatile blood flow conditions in vitro and ex vivo to assess the design features which most effectively augment gas transfer. Under steady blood flow conditions, oxygen transfer increased with circular angles beyond 70 deg. Under pulsatile conditions, a wide range of geometrical and fluid mechanical parameters could be combined to enhance gas transfer performance, which eventually depended upon the secondary Reynolds number and the Womersley parameter.

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