Research Group Berger

Applied Cardiopulmonary Physiology and Extracorporeal Support

Main Areas of Work

  • Venous return – relevant factors, including measurement, estimation and mathematical modelling of meansystemic filling pressure
  • Cardiopulmonary interactions
  • Gas exchange in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Development of methods to measure cardiac output and extensive cardiopulmonary monitoring duringextracorporeal oxygenation
  • Mathematical monitoring of physiological systems

Brief description

Understanding the pathophysiology of disease processes is essential to select and refine tools for monitoring andpredicting responses to therapy in critical care.

Our group focuses on the assessment of volume status, right ventricular function and gas exchange under extracorporealmembrane oxygenation. We use ECMO as a model to describe physiological mechanisms in cardiovascular dynamics,heart-lung interactions and venous return.

A particular interest lies in the development of monitoring and weaning strategies for safe and predictable de-escalation ofextracorporeal support. We aim to assess the cardiac output response during ECMO weaning using gas measurementsand adaptations of thermodilution techniques to to evaluate the response in cardiac output and right heart function.

Our available possibilities include, among others:

  • ECMO therapy in the setting of sepsis and/or ARDS with and without native cardiac output
  • High-resolution data recording of physiological signals in the cardiopulmonary system
  • Heart catheterisation, including PV-Loop analysis
  • Volumetric capnography and exhaled gas analysis
  • Data analysis and modelling using MatLab™

Associated staff

Kaspar Bachmann, MD

Per Werner-Möller, MD, PhD

Andreas Bloch, MD

Stefan Blöchlinger, MD

Professor Matthias Hänggi, MD

  • Our projects are regularly supported by doctoral and master students in medicine.

Current projects

  • Effects of positive and expiratory pressure on diastolic heart function in man
  • Mathematical modelling of venous return
  • Gas exchange during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Measurement of cardiac output and evaluation of right heart function in extracorporeal circulation
  • Modelling of gas exchange and its influence on the oxygen and carbon dioxide content of venous and arterial blood

Important publications


    Inselspital, Bern University Hospital

    • Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Therapy, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital
      (A. Vogt, MD)

    International Collaborations

      • Department of Anaesthesiology, Göttingen University, Germany (Prof. L. Gattinoni, MD)
      • McGill University Health Centre, Department of Critical Care and Department of Physiology, Montreal, Quebec,Canada (Prof. S. Magder, MD)