Shape Memory Alloy Capsule Micropump for Drug Delivery Applications

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Mechanical Engineering Department

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Youssef Kotb; Islam El gamal; Mohamed Serry

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Research Article

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We introduce a shape memory alloy (SMA) actuated micropump optimized for drug delivery applications. The proposed novel design integrates a built-in replaceable drug reservoir within the pump package forming a self-contained preloaded capsule pump with an overall pump volume of 424.7 μL. The new design results in a compact, simple, and inexpensive micropump and reduces the probability of contamination with attained almost zero dead volume values. The pump consists of NiTi-alloy SMA wires coiled on a flexible polymeric enclosure and actuated by joule heating. Unlike diaphragm and peristaltic SMA micropump designs that actuate transversely, our design is actuated longitudinally along the direction of the highest mechanical compliance resulting in large strokes in the order of 5.6 mm at 27% deflection ratio, actuation speed up to 11 mm/s, and static head pressures up to 14 kPa (105 mmHg) at 7.1 W input power; thus, high throughputs exceeding 2524 μL/min under free convention conditions could be achieved. A model was developed to optimize the pump's geometrical parameters and the enclosure material. The model concluded that low stiffness enclosure material combined with thinner SMA wire diameter would result in the maximum deflection at the lowest power rating. To prove its viability for drug delivery applications, the pump was operated at a constant discharge volume at a relatively constant static head pressure. Furthermore, a design of bicuspid-inspired polymeric check-valves is presented and integrated onto the pump to regulate the flow. Since the built-in reservoir is replaceable, the pump capsule can be reused multiple times and for multiple drug types.

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