Eveon and Leti mark milestone in fabrication of smart bolus-type micro-pump for drug delivery

Eveon and CEA-Leti today announced the demonstration of liquid-pumping for smart drug delivery in the bolus mode using a silicon-based micro-pump fabricated with a standard MEMS process.

The milestone is the first functional micro-pump integration using MEMS standard process on Leti’s 200mm line. It is a result of FluMin3, Eveon and Leti’s three-year joint-development project to produce an automatic drug-delivery system integrating a MEMS micro-pump that reduces patient discomfort by delivering medicine with very high accuracy, minimal loss and high flow rates.

FluMin3 is a major R&D program supported by the Rhone-Alpes competitive cluster MINALOGIC in collaboration with CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES and IMEP-LAHC, the Institute of Microelectronics Electromagnetism and Photonics, and Microwave and Characterization Laboratory.

The micro-pump is based on core technology initiated by Eveon and IMEP-LAHC. The pump demonstrator is made from silicon wafers, which include a thin deformable membrane sealed over a fluidic cavity and fluidic valves determining inlet and outlet. A dedicated electromagnetic actuator developed by CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES shapes the membrane.

First fluidic characterization of this device showed very promising pumping results with typical water-flow rates of 12 ml/min without any counter-pressure, and up to six ml/min under 1 bar counter-pressure. These results surpass the performance of state-of-the-art commercial micro-pumps whose typical water-flow rate capacity today is six ml/min without any counter-pressure and two ml/min under 0.5 bar counter-pressure.

These encouraging results already match bolus-mode injection requirements. In addition, new designs under development by Eveon and Leti are expected to improve fluidic performances. At the same time, MEMS flow sensors designed to be finally integrated in the micro-pump have been fabricated and used to achieve an accurate liquid dosing using micro-diaphragm pumps with a dosing error below 5 percent for different counter-pressures.

Eveon, which coordinated this project, and Leti are continuing their work to stabilize relevant MEMS processes before industrialization and to integrate MEMS sensors inside the micro-pump to demonstrate an automatically controlled smart drug-delivery device.

More technical detailed concerning the architecture, the process of fabrication and performances of this new micro-pump should be published and presented in coming conferences.

Read more: Exploring the MEMS-enabled life: A preview of the MEMS Executive Congress Europe 2014

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