SBIR Phase I: Electronically Actuated Low Power Microfluidic Pump

Period of Performance: 01/01/2007 - 12/31/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

2438 Slaterville Road
Slaterville Springs, NY 14881
Principal Investigator


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project will develop a low-cost, low-power, and disposable microfluidic Electrolytic Hydraulic Pumps (EHPs). Many emerging diagnostic and clinical applications, such as point-of-care Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) pathogen analysis and ambulatory drug infusion, require battery-powered fluid pumping systems that are lightweight, low power, and extremely accurate. Unfortunately, current syringe and roller pumps are too heavy and power-hungry for many portable applications. This research will develop matchbox-sized EHPs that can pump volumes ranging from 0.1 ml to 5 ml. In addition, a programmable control system that integrates an ultrasonic transit-time flow measurement system will be developed. This combination will produce a prototype that can deliver up to 5ml volumes at 3microL/minute with a 0.1microL/minute accuracy. This technology would also permit development of high-accuracy ""cigarette-pack""-sized wearable drug infusion systems. Emerging point-of-care systems analyze suspected pathogens via a PCR reaction carried out on a microfluidic chip. DNA purification and PCR reactions in the system require precise fluid delivery to ensure a reliable and repeatable pathogen analysis. The EHP Pumping system would permit design of disposable cartridges containing the pump, pre-measured reagents, and connectors. Another potential market for the proposed pumping technology would be for emerging ""animal-on-a-chip"" cell culturing systems and drug toxicology studies.