Solid State Pump Using Electro-Rheological Fluid

Technology #18205

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Inventors
Professor Anette Hosoi
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
External Link (meche.mit.edu)
Karl Iagnemma
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
External Link (web.mit.edu)
Youzhi Liang
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
External Link (web.mit.edu)
Michael Evzelman
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Utah State University
External Link (www.power.usu.edu)
Professor Regan Zane
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Utah State University
External Link (power.usu.edu)
Matthew Demers
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, MIT
External Link (ki.mit.edu)
Jose Alvarado
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT
External Link (meche.mit.edu)
Managed By
Dave Sossen
MIT Technology Licensing Officer
Patent Protection

Solid State Pump Using Electro-Rheological Fluid

US Patent Pending

Solid State Pump Using Electro-Rheological Fluid

PCT Patent Application Filed
Publications
An Intelligent Microactuator Robust Against Disturbance Using Electro-rheological Fluid
Sensors and Actuators A: Physical, 175: 101-7, Mar. 2012
A New Magneto-rheological Fluid Actuator with Application to Active Motion Control
Sensors and Actuators: A. Physical, 239: 166-73, Mar. 1, 2016

Applications

  • Micropumps for drug delivery, chemical analysis and biological sensing
  • Micro-hydraulic systems
  • Pitot tubes for pressure differential measurements

Problem Addressed

Micro-hydraulic technology is crucial to the design of micropumps for applications including drug delivery, chemical analysis and biological sensing. Micropumps are classified as mechanical or non-mechanical pumps. Piezoelectric actuated pumps are a mechanical design which has dominated reciprocating micropump technology because of its fast response time and precise dosage ability. However, this is a low efficiency pumping mechanism. Due to the importance of volumetric efficiency in microscale applications, the low efficiency pumping effect is exaggerated in micropumps. Without dramatic improvements in pump efficiency, miniaturization will not be feasible.  

Technology

Electro-rheological (ER) pumps are non-mechanical micropumps which resolve the low efficiency problem of piezoelectric actuated systems. This technology is especially effective in the low pressure differential and low flow rate regime. Utilizing this regime, the invention enables high efficiency and dynamic response micropumps. By applying an electric field to the ER fluid, dipole interactions between constituent particles are dramatically increased. Varying the applied electric field then generates a flow, enabling low pressure, high efficiency hydraulic pumping. Embodiments of this system include a variant for pressure differential measurement via pitot tubes.

Advantages

  • High efficiency pumping enables miniaturization of pumps
  • Effective use of low shear stress behavior and dynamic response of ER fluid