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 Skin patch dissolves 'love handles' in mice
18.09.2017 | Columbia University Medical Center

nachricht Medicine of the future: New microchip technology could be used to track 'smart pills'
13.09.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

Im Focus: Artificial Enzymes for Hydrogen Conversion

Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.

Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

New quantum phenomena in graphene superlattices

19.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A simple additive to improve film quality

19.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>