An implantable MEMS micropump system for drug delivery in small animals

Biomed Microdevices. 2012 Jun;14(3):483-96. doi: 10.1007/s10544-011-9625-4.


We present the first implantable drug delivery system for controlled timing and location of dosing in small animals. Current implantable drug delivery devices do not provide control over these factors nor are they feasible for implantation in research animals as small as mice. Our system utilizes an integrated electrolysis micropump, is refillable, has an inert drug reservoir for broad drug compatibility, and is capable of adjustment to the delivery regimen while implanted. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was used for characterization of electrodes on glass substrate and a flexible Parylene substrate. Benchtop testing of the electrolysis actuator resulted in flow rates from 1 μL/min to 34 μL/min on glass substrate and up to 6.8 μL/min on Parylene substrate. The fully integrated system generated a flow rate of 4.72 ± 0.35 μL/min under applied constant current of 1.0 mA while maintaining a power consumption of only ~3 mW. Finally, we demonstrated in vivo application of the system for anti-cancer drug delivery in mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrolysis / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design / instrumentation*
  • Infusion Pumps, Implantable*
  • Mice
  • Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems / instrumentation*
  • Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems / methods*
  • Microtechnology / instrumentation*
  • Microtechnology / methods
  • Polymers
  • Xylenes


  • Polymers
  • Xylenes
  • parylene