The concept of artificial pancreas, which comprises an insulin pump, a continuous glucose meter and a control algorithm, is a major step forward in managing patient with type 1 diabetes mellitus. The stability of the control algorithm is based on short-term precision micropump to deliver rapid-acting insulin and to specific integrated sensors able to monitor any failure leading to a loss of accuracy. Debiotech’s MEMS micropump, based on the membrane pump principle, is made of a stack of 3 silicon wafers. The pumping chamber comprises a pillar check-valve at the inlet, a pumping membrane which is actuated against stop limiters by a piezo cantilever, an anti-free-flow outlet valve and a pressure sensor. The micropump inlet is tightly connected to the insulin reservoir while the outlet is in direct communication with the patient skin via a cannula. To meet the requirement of a pump dedicated to closed-loop application for diabetes care, in addition to the well-controlled displacement of the pumping membrane, the high precision of the micropump is based on specific actuation profiles that balance effect of pump elasticity in low-consumption push-pull mode.
Passive flow regulators are usually intended to deliver or drain a fluid at a constant rate independently from pressure variations. New designs of passive flow regulators made of a stack of a silicon membrane anodically bonded to a Pyrex substrate are proposed. A first design has been built for the derivation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) towards peritoneum for hydrocephalus treatment. The device allows draining CSF at the patient production rate independently from postural changes. The flow rate is regulated at 20 ml/h in the range 10 to 40 mbar. Specific features to adjust in vivo the nominal flow rate are shown. A second design including high pressure shut-off feature has been made. The intended use is drug delivery with pressurized reservoir of typically 100 to 300 mbar. In both cases, the membrane comprises several holes facing pillars in the Pyrex substrate. These pillars are machined in a cavity which ensures a gap between the membrane and the pillars at rest. The fluid in the pressurized reservoir is directly in contact with the top surface of the membrane, inducing its deflection towards Pyrex substrate and closing progressively the fluidic pathway through each hole of the membrane. Since the membrane deflection is highly non-linear, FEM simulations have been performed to determine both radial position and diameter of the membrane holes that ensure a constant flow rate for a given range of pressure.