Beginning in 1976 the University of Pittsburgh (UoP), initially through its Department of Surgery and later including the Swanson School of Engineering and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has been actively engaged in the design and clinical utilization of cardiopulmonary assist devices for adult and pediatric patients. In launching these initiatives, the focus was on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) applied primarily to infants with respiratory distress, congenital and/or acquired cardiac disease. A leader in these early days of ECMO was Professor Robert Eberhart, who not only detailed the underlying bio-transport principles or oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in ECMO devices, but who also participated in the early clinical utilization of ECMO. Professor Eberhart presented his path-finding results on an annual basis at the national meetings of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO) with publication in Transactions ASAIO [1–3].

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