Low Power Electrically-Driven Microfluidic Pumping/Delivery Device

Patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes rely on frequent testing and intrusive administration of medication to regulate their chemical balance. For some medical conditions, laboratories have to conduct tests that are inconvenient to the patient, using expensive equipment. Physician intervention may also be required. State University of New York researchers have developed a low-power pump, the size of a small computer chip that is intended to perform microfluidic analysis inside the body and deliver precise amounts of medication as needed. With no mechanical parts, the pump consists of a detector, a column filled with moving liquid and an injector. Key to the pump is a tiny column with a boundary of two immiscible fluids inside that actuates in response to an electrical signal and, in the case of the diabetes patient, could measure insulin levels constantly. This detector responds to changes in patient chemistry by electrically charging fluid in a miniature column to make it move. The motion triggers the injector to supply the body with more insulin from a convenient external source. The miniaturized pump, combined with glucose monitoring capabilities, works like a thermostat to analyze a small sample and tell other components how to respond.

Advantages:

  • No mechanical parts that require lubrication, repair or spare parts.
  • Practically weightless.
  • Size of computer chip.

Intellectual Property:

U.S. 6,458,256

 

Binghamton University RB108

Patent Information: