Implantable Pump for Treatment of Refractory Ascites based on Local Magnetic Actuation

[+] Author and Article Information
Nicolo Garbin

PhD Candidate, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee USA 37212

Patrick Doyle

Associate Engineer, Medical Merge LLC, Brentwood, Tennessee USA 37027

Byron Smith

Senior Engineer, Medical Merge LLC, Brentwood, Tennessee USA 37027

Jesse Taylor

Gastroenterologist, Springfield, Missouri USA 65804

Mubashir Khan

Gastroenterologist, Springfield, Missouri USA 65809

Qasim Khalil

Hospital Medicine Consultant, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Pietro Valdastri

Chair in Robotics & Autonomous Systems, School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK LS2 9JT

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042460 History: Received September 27, 2018; Revised December 19, 2018


This paper presents the design, fabrication and experimental validation of a novel low-cost implantable pump for the treatment of refractory ascites based on local magnetic actuation. A reciprocating positive displacement pump displaces liquid unidirectionally thanks to magnetic coupling with a magnetic controller placed on the outside of the patient's body. The proposed solution is intuitive to use thanks to an alignment algorithm that exploits externally placed magnetic field sensors. The implantable device has a catheter-like shape, is electronic free (no on-board battery), has low fabrication cost (< 8 USD), and is able to generate a flow rate of 3.65 L/h while effectively pumping fluids with various viscosity (1-5.5 cP). Refractory ascites is commonly treated via costly paracentesis or invasive surgical placement of a transjugular portosystemic shunt. The proposed solution can be implanted with minimally invasive techniques and can be used on a daily basis to drain a set amount of liquid, without requiring recurrent hospital visits.

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