Medical Design Briefs - February 2024 - 53

160
Diaphragm
Disc pump
120
Background noise
Rotary vane
80
40
100
200
300
Time (s/b ms)
Fig. 1 - A disc pump (left) and a graph of pressure pulsation generated by a disc pump, a diaphragm pump, and a rotary vane pump (right).
What Is a Disc Pump?
A disc pump is an innovative piezoelectric
micropump that takes advantage
of nonlinear acoustics and an
ultra-fast valve technology to deliver the
following features and benefits:
* Silent operation
* Small size and light weight <5 g
* Pulsation-free output
* No mechanical vibration
* Ultrafast (ms) response to set
point changes
* Near infinite turndown ratio
factor, pulsation- free operation, zero vibration,
and high-precision control. These
attributes have helped the disc pump drive
innovation across a broad spectrum of
medical applications such as point-of-care
(POC) diagnostics, wearable intermittent
pneumatic compression (IPC), and sleep
apnea therapy.
This article takes a closer look at two
fields in which the disc pump has unlocked
innovation: ambulatory blood pressure
monitoring and liquid handling.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure
Monitoring
While 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure
monitoring (ABPM) observation is
routine, there are several shortcomings
with the current generation of blood
pressure monitoring systems. The root of
Medical Design Briefs, February 2024
Air intake
filter
Pressure
sensor
Valving
Flow meter
Disc pump
Head
space
Fluid
out
400
500
Fixed
orifice
Reservoir
Fig. 2 - Schematic for a typical pressure driven flow system with the disc pump. Dashed/dotted line components
are optional, depending on functionality required.
many of these shortcomings is in the use
of traditional motor-driven diaphragm
pumps. In principle, blood pressure
measurement can be taken during cuff
inflation. However, airflow pulsation introduced
by traditional pump technologies
masks the oscillometric signal from
the patient, making it difficult to take
measurements while the pump is running.
Instead, most conventional systems
take measurements during cuff deflation
once the pump is switched off.
The disc pump, however, has no pulsation,
enabling blood pressure readings
to be carried out during the cuff inflawww.medicaldesignbriefs.com
tion
cycle. This makes the user experience
more comfortable, because the cuff
needs only be inflated to the maximum
(systolic) blood pressure reading and
not much higher - as is the case with
the conventional approach. Patient comfort
is further enhanced by the pump's
silent, vibration-free operation, which
enables measurements to be taken at
night with minimal disruption.
In conventional ambulatory blood
pressure monitors, the pump tends to be
too big and heavy to integrate with the
arm-worn cuff. Instead, the module is
worn around the neck or on a belt loop
53
mBar
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Medical Design Briefs - February 2024

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