SBIR Phase II: Shape Variations in the Development of Miniature Micropumps

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0848253
Agency Tracking Number: 0740371
Amount: $500,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
DUNS: 125518428
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Christine Evans
 (479) 571-2592
Business Contact
 Christine Evans
Title: PhD
Phone: (479) 571-2592
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II research project focuses on the development of a product line of miniature pumping systems for the controlled delivery of fluids in ultra-low flow rate range (nanoliters to microliters per minute). This line of micropump systems will provide pulse-free flow and controlled micro-volume dispensing in this challenging low volume regime. The non-mechanical nature and operating principles of this pump afford an unusual degree of freedom in pump design. The ability to tailor the shape and size of the micropump to specific applications can be very valuable, particularly in small devices where the available space is significantly constrained (for example, point-of-care devices, portable chemical and biological analysis systems, and micro-dosing devices). There is a growing diversity of chemical and biological analyses that are taking place within small chips, as well as in the rising demand for ultra-small dosing systems. Such analyses are continuing to shrink in size and measurements that have conventionally been performed in a laboratory and are now being adapted to handheld devices. These micro-analysis systems can provide immediate results without waiting for laboratory analyses. For example, the analysis of blood samples is being adapted to small devices, so important results are available at the point-of-care. Likewise, the desire is growing for small, portable dosing systems for animal studies and for human medications (like insulin and chronic pain management). All of these applications require micropumps for the controlled delivery of compounds. Fundamental engineering constraints mean that conventional mechanical pumps cannot be simply decreased in size to meet this challenge. These miniature non-mechanical pumps require very little power, can be controlled to deliver at constant flow rate or specific dispensing volumes, and offer the pulse-less flow that is not accessible by other pumps. This provides a significant market opportunity in the liquid pumping market (roughly $160 million presently), into the animal dosing (valued at approximately $90 million per year) and human drug delivery (valued at $80 billion presently) markets.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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