Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Smart miniature pump

06.05.2008
An innovative micro-pump makes it possible for tiny quantities of liquid – such as medicines – to be dosed accurately and flexibly. Active composites and an electronic control mechanism ensure that the low-maintenance pump works accurately – both forwards and backwards.

Medicines sometimes have to be administered in extremely small quantities. Just a few tenths of a milliliter may be sufficient to give the patient the ideal treatment. Micro-pumps greatly facilitate the dosage of minute quantities.

Pumps like these have been built and constantly optimized for over 25 years. They find application in numerous areas – from medical engineering to microproduction technology – wherever tiny volumes have to be variably dosed with extreme accuracy.

However, these micro-pump systems are usually not as flexible as desired: They often work in only one direction, bubbles in the liquid impair their operation, they do not tolerate bothersome particles, they have a fixed pump output and they contain expendable parts such as valves or cogwheels. Together with partners from research institutes and industry, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg have developed an innovative pump system that solves all these problems: a controllable peristaltic micro-pump.

“The peristaltic pump is a highly complex system,” explains IWM project manager Dr. Bärbel Thielicke. “It contracts in waves in a similar way to the human esophagus, and thus propels the liquid along – it changes shape of its own accord. To achieve this, we had to use a whole range of different materials and special material composites.” The researchers use lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT) films that are joined in a suitable way with bending elements made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and a flexible tube. “PZT materials change their shape as soon as you apply an electric field to them. This makes it possible to control the pump system electronically,” says Thielicke. Special adhesives additionally hold the various components of the pump system together. Thanks to the special control electronics, tiny quantities can be pumped accurately through the system.

The peristaltic pump system has already passed its first functional tests. Now the researchers are working to adapt the peristaltic micro-pump to the various different applications. “We work with special simulation models to do this,” says Thielicke. “We calculate in advance how the structure of the pump needs to be modified in order to administer other dosages or other liquids. This helps us save time and money during the development phase.”

| alfa
Further information:
http://www.zv.fraunhofer.de
http://www.fraunhofer.de/EN
http://www.fraunhofer.de/EN/bigimg/2008/rn05fo1g.jsp

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure
24.05.2018 | Queen Mary University of London

nachricht XXL computed tomography: a new dimension in X-ray analysis
17.05.2018 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>