With increasing medical device miniaturization, micropumps are pressuring their way into portable and wound-care applications.
Compared with bioresorbable stents, 3-D printed tissues, or cancer-fighting nanobots, medical pumps are hardly the most ‘sexy’ technology on the block. But without them, doctors and nurses couldn’t dispense fluids or medications. They couldn’t remove tissue or foreign material from wounds. And they couldn’t monitor a patient’s vital signs. Sexy? Well, no. But try living without them.
Medical pumps can be based on different technologies, such as diaphragms or pneumatic drives. They can come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, flow-rate capacities, and pressure and vacuum ratings. At bottom, the choice of pump type depends on the performance requirements of the application in question. However, with the trend toward smaller and smaller medical devices, one thing is certain: Pump manufacturers are shrinking their designs, leading to growing interest in micropumps.
Keeping a Low Profile
“With the trend toward miniaturization, today’s pumps have a very flat design and can be much less expensive than previous-generation pumps,” remarks Seta Davidian, marketing manager at Lexington, MA–based Servoflo Corp., which markets the mp6 diaphragm micropump from Dortmund, Germany–based Bartels Mikrotechnik GmbH. “The mp6 transports tiny amounts of gases or liquids in drug-delivery and infusion-pump applications. Aside from its size, the pump’s chief technological advantage is that it is easy to control. If an end-user needs to specify different variables, the pump can accommodate this.”
The mp6 offers a range of advantages in medical device applications, according to Frank Bartels, founder of Bartels Mikrotechnik. “Because of its flat form factor, it can be designed into wearable medical devices. And because it is battery operated, it has low energy requirements. In addition, it exhibits material stability because only one material comes into contact with body fluids, ensuring a low reaction with blood, antibodies, or hormones.”
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Source:: www.mddionline.com; March 13, 2014.