The Laboratory for Extracorporeal Circulation research (ECCLab), was established in 1978 in the Institute of Physiology, Medical Faculty of RWTH Aachen University. The original goal was to initiate research on artificial internal organs, particularly integrated in extracorporeal circulation, with special regard to the physiological performance of artificial organs, their interactions with natural organs and identification of pathophysiological mechanisms.
This encompasses also issues from basic research to prototype development and preparation for clinical applications. In this context, the goal of combining relevant factors was always considered. These activities have comprised the education and training of young students and scientists interested in “high-tech” biomedical research and the enhancement of interdisciplinary cooperation between engineering, medical and natural sciences, as well as the incorporation of the relevant industrial companies.
Pivotal to the success of establishing this working group was the foundation of the “Collaborative Research Center” (SFB 109 supported by the German Research Council - DFG) within the RWTH Aachen University for interdisciplinary research in the field of artificial organs.
The ECCLab was traditionally a cooperation partner in many national and international research projects at the outset of their foundation, such as the “European Concerted Action” on development of oxygenators in 1976, the establishment of the “Aachen Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research (IZKF)” in 1995 within the Medical Faculty of Aachen University, and the organization of 30th Congress of the “European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO 2003)” in Aachen - subtitled as “High-tech and Medicine”.
Furthermore, there was the initiation and establishment of the interdisciplinary “Master Program for Biomedical Engineering” for international students at RWTH Aachen University.