Electromagnetically powered electrolytic pump and thermo-responsive valve for drug delivery

Ying Yi, Amir Zaher, Omar Yassine, Ulrich Buttner, Jürgen Kosel, Ian G. Foulds

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Scopus citations


A novel drug delivery device is presented, implementing an electrolytic pump and a thermo-responsive valve. The device is remotely operated by an AC electromagnetic field (40.5∼58.5 mT, 450 kHz) that provides the power for the pump and the valve. It is suitable for long-term therapy applications, which use a solid drug in reservoir (SDR) approach and avoids unwanted drug diffusion. When the electromagnetic field is on, the electrolytic pump drives the drug towards the valve. The valve is made of a magnetic composite consisting of a smart hydrogel: Poly (N-Isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) and iron powder. The heat generated in the iron powder via magnetic losses causes the PNIPAm to shrink, allowing the drug to flow past it. When the electromagnetic field is off, the PNIPAm swells, sealing the outlet. In the meantime, the bubbles generated by electrolysis recombine into water, causing a pressure reduction in the pumping chamber. This draws fresh fluid from outside the pump into the drug reservoir before the valve is fully sealed. The recombination can be accelerated by a platinum (Pt) coated catalytic reformer, allowing more fluid to flow back to the drug reservoir and dissolve the drug. By repeatedly turning on and off the magnetic field, the drug solution can be delivered cyclically. © 2015 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication10th IEEE International Conference on Nano/Micro Engineered and Molecular Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781467366953
StatePublished - Apr 2015


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