Miniaturised smart drug delivery module

At last year’s COMPAMED trade fair, the sensor manufacturer Sensirion and the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Microsystems and Solid State Technologies (EMFT) presented an innovative concept study in the field of medical technology. Fraunhofer EMFT’s silicon micropump has been combined with Sensirion’s LD20 single-use liquid flow sensor as part of a joint project with the aim of developing a smart and cost-efficient miniaturised module for controlled and monitored drug delivery. This highly integrated single-use drug delivery module measures a mere 35 x 15 x 5mm3.

Sensirion is a leading manufacturer of humidity, temperature, gas and liquid flow sensors. The cost-efficient LD20 disposable liquid flow sensor used for this concept study is exceptionally compact and measures flow rates in the micro and millimetre per hour range with outstanding precision and reliability thanks to its  CMOSens technology. The Fraunhofer EMFT is among the world's leading development teams in the field of micropumps. Scientists at the research institution have developed various micro membrane pumps made of silicon, which can be manufactured in high volumes at wafer level for very low costs. Both partners have received the DeviceMed innovation prize for their advancements in microfluidics in the past.

During a meeting at COMPAMED 2015, Sensirion and Fraunhofer EMFT discussed the idea for an integrated single-use module for a controlled and monitored drug delivery. The innovative concept progressed into a development project that the teams have worked on over the past year. The objective of the project is to demonstrate the possibilities of such a solution for single-use applications to the medical technology industry.

The single-use drug delivery module is a highly integrated microfluidic system based on the Sensirion’s LD20 disposable liquid flow sensor, which can measure even tiniest flow rates with extraordinary speed, precision and intelligence and features sensitive failure detection to help counteract e.g. cross flows and extravasation. The Fraunhofer EMFT micropump has been seamlessly integrated into the extended flow channel of the sensor and reaches despite its tiny size type dependent flow rates with water of up to 1000 µl/min. The minimum displaced volume is 50 nanolitres. This single-use drug delivery module opens up entirely new possibilities for wearable and digital applications that will simplify patient compliance.

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