Infusion Micropumps to Aid in Treating Pediatric Brain Cancer

November 26, 2013

November 26, 2013

A miniature, implantable infusion pump may be the solution to brain cancer treatment, especially in younger patients.

Leptomeningeal metastases afflicts the lining of the brain and spinal cord. When implanted in the abdomen, the pump sends chemotherapy into the spinal fluid for direct delivery to the brain. This process makes the treatment more comfortable for young patients who otherwise must endure uncomfortable spinal taps several times a week. This would also allow patients to undergo treatments at home.

 Ellis Meng, a National Science Foundation (NSF)- funded scientist who is associate professor of biomedical and electrical engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) said this new innovation is important to children because "pediatric populations are underserved by medical devices. They get adult devices put in after the fact. They don't benefit from devices specifically designed for pediatric populations. After evaluating the needs of this particular condition, it really fits what we do."

 "With this disease, you need a lot of drug, since the spinal fluid is constantly being made and replenished, every six hours," saidMeng. "So it makes sense to treat with this type of pump, because we have the ability to dose frequently."

 The new micropumphas a tether-free, wirelessly activated release system that precisely controls the infusion of drugs into the body using "bubble power". This uses the power of electrolytically generated bubbles, rather than a motor. This feature makes it different from other infusion pumps.

 "We use a simple technique to electronically control how much drug is pumped, when it is pumped and how often it is pumped," Meng said. Also, the pump is fully implantable, and not tethered to an outside power source. This allows patients to freely move around and experience daily life and not be reminded all the time of being ill, Meng added.

 The pumps are not yet available on the market and are currently undergoing additional studies to ensure their safety. Advanced trials are likely several years away.

 The success of medical developments relies heavily on dependable and high-quality instruments. AIV offers parts and services for most leading infusion pumps in the market, including Baxter, BBraun, Alaris and Abbott/Hospira Infusion Pumps. Browse through AIV’s replacement parts and repair services at

About the Author

Laura Collier

Laura Collier

Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.

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