Fabrication Of Smart Bolus-type Micro-pump with CEA Leti

EVEON and CEA-Leti announced, in April 2004, the demonstration of liquid-pumping for smart drug delivery in the bolus mode using a silicon-based micro-pump fabricated with a standard MEMS process


The milestone is the first functional micro-pump integration using MEMS standard process on Leti’s 200mm line. It is a result of FluMin3, EVEON and Leti’s three-year jointdevelopment project to produce an automatic drug-delivery system integrating a MEMS micro-pump that reduces patient discomfort by delivering medicine with very high accuracy, minimal loss and high flow rates.

FluMin3 is a major R&D program supported by the Rhone-Alpes competitive cluster MINALOGIC in collaboration with Cedrat Technologies and IMEP-LAHC, the Institute of Microelectronics Electromagnetism and Photonics, and Microwave and Characterization Laboratory.

The micro-pump is based on core technology initiated by EVEON and IMEP-LAHC. The pump demonstrator is made from silicon wafers, which include a thin deformable membrane sealed over a fluidic cavity and fluidic valves determining inlet and outlet. A dedicated electromagnetic actuator developed by Cedrat Technologies deforms the membrane.

First fluidic characterization of this device showed very promising pumping results with typical water-flow rates of 12 ml/min without any counter-pressure, and up to 6 ml/min under 1 bar counter-pressure. These results surpass the performance of state-of-the-art commercial micro-pumps whose typical water-flow rate capacity today is 6 ml/min without any counter-pressure and 2 ml/min under 0.5 bar counter-ressure.

These encouraging results already match bolus-mode injection requirements. In addition, new designs under development are expected to improve fluidic performances. At the same time, MEMS flow sensors designed to be integrated in the micro-pump have been fabricated and used to achieve an accurate liquid dosing using micro-diaphragm pumps with a dosing relative error below 5 percent for different counter-pressures.

EVEON, which coordinated this project and Leti are continuing their work to stabilize relevant MEMS processes before industrialization and to integrate MEMS sensors inside the micro-pump to demonstrate an automatically controlled smart drug-delivery device.