Hollow fiber contactors are successfully used as blood oxygenators in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO); the optimization of these devices relies on a full comprehension of transport mechanisms involving respiratory gasses. This phenomenon is not clearly understood although it strongly affects blood oxygenators' performance. This work presents a model for countercorrent ECMO oxygenators, accounting for both membrane wetting and chemical reactions occurring in these systems. In the first part of the paper, the theoretical framework is presented; later, membrane wetting is analyzed and it is shown its effect on the overall mass transfer coefficients. Namely, it comes to light that membrane wetting strongly reduces membrane performances in terms of gasses transport and of respiratory quotient.
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