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 New imaging modality targets cholesterol in arterial plaque
14.06.2019 | SPIE--International Society for Optics and Photonics

nachricht Piedmont Atlanta first in Georgia to offer new minimally invasive treatment for emphysema
24.05.2019 | Pulmonx

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel communications architecture for future ultra-high speed wireless networks

17.06.2019 | Information Technology

Climate Change in West Africa

17.06.2019 | Earth Sciences

Robotic fish to replace animal testing

17.06.2019 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>