Active Implants - reliable and powerful


From drug dosage to artificial sphincters: in the future, micropumps could be used as active implants for a wide range of medical applications. At the High Performance Center for Secure Intelligent Systems (LZSiS), researchers working on the “Active Implants” project are evaluating the risks involved in using micropumps as medical implants. The various applications require very varied pump specifications, but what they all have in common is their extremely rigorous safety requirements. “Active Implants" focuses on two fundamental safety-related issues. Firstly, interaction between the pump and the medium being supplied (e.g. medication) is investigated in order to ensure long-term dosing stability without micropump failure. Secondly, scientists are investigating the possibility of reducing the pump’s operating voltage. At present it is several hundred volts, which is a very high level. For this purpose, tests are carried out to see whether the actuator – currently a single-layer piezoceramic – can be replaced by a multi-layer drive. This multilayer technology could potentially enable a substantial reduction of the voltage required to operate the pump. This would make it easier to achieve reliable insulation.