Advanced Technology Program ATP Home Page NIST Home Page

Project Brief

Open Competition 3 - Biotechnology

Multi-Drug, Portable Infusion System for the Treatment of Cancer and AIDS

Develop a highly portable multidrug infusion system that integrates the technology of microelectromechanical systems with a passively pressurized drug reservoir, thereby dramatically improving control of drug delivery, while operating on low power.

Sponsor: Integrated Sensing Systems, Inc.

391 Airport Industrial Drive
Ypsilanti, MI 48198-7812
  • Project Performance Period: 10/1/2003 - 9/30/2005
  • Total project (est.): $2,673,792.00
  • Requested ATP funds: $1,973,972.00

Many diseases require multiple drugs to be administered with high accuracy. Cancer treated with chemotherapy and infectious diseases treated with drug "cocktails" are two examples of disease areas needing multiple drugs delivered in accord with a strict regimen. The need for multidrug infusion has been met inadequately by existing infusion pumps because of their size, weight, and power consumption. Integrated Sensing Systems (ISSYS) will develop a portable multidrug infusion system that couples the technology of microelectromechanical systems with a passively pressurized drug reservoir, improving control of drug delivery dramatically, and operating on low power. The system will simultaneously or sequentially deliver up to 12 drugs in units of nanoliters to microliters and allow improved medication therapies to be implemented by reprogramming the delivery controls. A Coriolis sensor will monitor the flow and the specific gravity of the drugs to ensure that the correct drugs have been loaded and that tubes are free of blockages and bubbles. This two-year project involves several subcontractors: The University of Michigan Medical Center (Ann Arbor, MI) and William Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, MI) will serve as consultants; S3 Engineering (Ann Arbor, MI) will machine system components; and the Lee Company (Westbrook, CT) will supply microvalves and valve manifolds. Technical risks include developing a chip-like Coriolis mass-flow sensor, an innovation in microelectromechanical systems, that is reliable, accurate, and inexpensive. Another risk is integrating into the system a small, low-power valve that does not interfere with the electronics of other components. ISSYS cannot afford to independently fund this project. Existing infusion pump manufacturers and venture-capital firms consider the technology too risky and return on capital too distant until a prototype is produced. ATP funding could accelerate product introduction by four to six years. By delivering drug regimens accurately and reliably, a successfully developed system should reduce hospital stays for drug treatments and prevent many deaths due to wrong doses and wrong medicines, saving several billion dollars annually. The system should greatly improve the treatment of cancer, AIDS, bacterial infection, chronic pain, hepatitis, and diabetes. Furthermore, the chronically ill should benefit from improved quality of life.

For project information:
Kim Ray, (734) 547-9896

ATP Project Manager
Douglas Bischoff, (301) 975-8597

ATP website comments:
Privacy Statement / Security Notice NIST Disclaimer NIST Information Quality Standards
NIST is an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department