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Insulin is a protein hormone which enhances the conversion of blood glucose
into glycogen. If insulin is not secreted sufficiently, the glucose increases. The excess
glucose is expelled with the urine is called diabetes. Patients required immediate
injection of insulin at the time of deficiency of glucose. It is hard to continuously monitor
the glucose. The diabetic patients are taking the insulin every day themselves without
awareness of their body condition. The research is going on to implant a micro device
into the patient’s body to provide insulin at the time of deficiency of glucose. The
Biomedical sensor senses the glucose level in the blood and actuates the micro pump to
deliver the insulin. This paper describes the techniques of BioMEMS used in the
treatment of diabetes.

Health is more precious than anything else as goes the saying “Health is Wealth”.
In today’s world, people are looking forward to lead a healthy life in spite of being heavy
in their pockets. The medicos look forward to engineers to lend a helping hand to them,
so that they could avail the latest technologies to the medical field.
Nowadays, there are a large number of people who suffer from diabetes and they
require a constant intake of insulin into their body. Diabetes is a disease, which occurs
due to the deficiency of glucose level in the blood. At such times, the patients require

immediate injection of insulin into their blood. But it is practically impossible to
continuously monitor it by external devices. Implanting a micro device into the patient’s
body, this requires devices of micro size. One such emerging technology towards the
production of such devices is MEMS. The micro pumps that have been designed here can
be used to administer small amounts of medication at regular time intervals. This may
very well be used to deliver insulin thus providing an alternative to injections. This is
highly desirable feature that could certainly have a significant impact on the worldwide
market for insulin delivery systems.


Pancreas is an exocrine gland which contain patches of endocrine cells
called Islets of Langerhans. Islets of Langerhans contain two cells namely, Alpha cell
and Beta cell. Alpha cell secretes a hormone called Glucagons and Beta cell secretes
a hormone called Insulin. Insulin enhances the conversion of blood glucose into
glycogen to be stored in the liver and skeletal muscles. Glucagons help to
convert glycogen from the liver to glucose whenever needed by the body.
Hypo secretion of insulin leads to increased glucose level of the blood and
expulsion of excess of glucose in the urine. This condition is called
“Diabetes Mellitus”. The normal blood glucose level is 80 to 120 mg/100ml.

3.0 MEMS
MEMS stand for Micro Electro Mechanical Systems.
MEMS is an enabling technology allowing the development
of smart products augmenting the computational ability of
micro electronics with the perception and control capabilities
of micro sensors, micro actuators and expanding the space of
possible designs and applications. Here a micro pump was
designed using Computer Aided Design (CAD), which
handles millimeter scale fluid volumes as required for insulin
injection for diabetes patients. This micro pump connected

with a biomedical sensor can be used for implantation into a
patient’s body. The Biomedical sensor is used to sense the
glucose level in the blood and it actuates the micro pump.
The pump works on the principle of piezo electric effect. The
pump has been considered rectangular for micro machining
and fabrication process to be simpler and easier. The strict
performance requirements of the medical devices call out for
highly reliable micro pumps and analyzed their credibility
with the help of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and
simulation techniques.

The micro pump consists of a piezo electric
component. The PZT component used here is Lead
Zirconium Titanate (PZT). A diaphragm is placed below the
PZT component. A pump chamber is made available within
this for the storage of the working fluid. There are two one-
way check valves provided as inlet and outlet flaps. The inlet
flap is in turn connected to the source of insulin from where
the injection is done. The outlet flap is connected to the
patient’s blood stream and is to be provided at the time of the
deficiency. The length of this pump is 6000 µ m while the
width and its depth are 1000 µ m. Due to such a small size,
they can be used for implantation in the patient’s body. The
entire housing of the pump is composed of Silicon Nitride
(Si3N4), with the diaphragm having a thickness of 10 µ m.
These devices have a capability of transferring a volume of
about 25µL of the fluid used.

Figure: Sketch of micro pump cross-.section.

When the PZT component is provided with an
electrical pulse, there is mechanical vibration produced in a
perpendicular axis according to the piezo electric effect. This
is made available to the diaphragm, which is placed such that
its axis is parallel to the axis of vibration. As a result the
diaphragm vibrates in resonance with the PZT component
and so the area of the pump chamber varies. According to the
pressure variations either the inlet flap opens or the outlet
flap opens. When the area of pump chamber increases, the
pressure in it decreases and the inlet flap opens and transfers
a small volume of the fluid into the pump chamber. Now as
the Diaphragm vibrates the area of pump chamber decreases
so that the outlet flap opens and the insulin is injected into the
blood stream. Thus the patient can at any time avail the
insulin that is actually present within his body.
For more efficient operation, it can also be replaced by
optical and ultrasonic methods.
 They may be optically excited by modulated light
guided by a fiber and detected by photosensitive or

photo thermal devices. The pulse light is directly
converted in to mechanical vibrations by photo
acoustic principle.
 They may also be excited ultrasonically by using
ultrasonic piezo electric sources and detected by
photo acoustic devices.
These processes reduce the high voltage requirement
of the PZT component, which may be of the order of 100 V.
The dynamic nature of these pumps prompts us to
consider a non-linear FEA simulation capable of calculating
stresses caused both by deformation as well as by inertial
effect. Though the inertial effects may seem to be small, due
to their size they may have greater effects due to high
oscillation rates achieved by these devices. The PZT
component is used in its first natural frequency. The resulting
large scale motion pumps the fluid through the pump
chamber with inlet and outlet valves passively undergoing
oscillatory movements. The resonant motion of the
diaphragm, which is bonded to the piezo electric component,
makes its stresses critical to the design of the micro pump.
Resonant actuation is strongly desired to achieve the
required performance of many piezo electrically driven
pumps. The piezo electric component used in this current
work is configured such that it deforms in the planar direction
upon the application of a voltage across its thickness. This
deformation results in the deflection of the diaphragm.
Generally very high voltages are required to obtain the
desired deformation in the diaphragm. This high voltage
value is not feasible. One reason is that the joule heating
effect induced by such voltages would result in temperatures

too high for most applications, especially those involving
biological systems. Two common methods of avoiding the
need for high voltages are
1. To force the system at its primary natural frequency.
2. To use multi-layered piezoelectric components.
These methods are not exclusive of each other, and when
properly applied, can yield micro pump designs capable of
safely producing adequate flow rates.
The primary goal of this study was to develop a
procedure to incorporate reliability considerations into the
design of micro pumps actuated using piezo electric
components. The first important step towards ascertaining the
reliability of a pump design is to focus on the stresses
experienced by the pump during its operation. Because the
focus was to only consider the stresses experienced by the
diaphragm, it was possible to avoid incorporating the valve
flaps in the analysis. The remaining components of the micro
pump were included in the study.
As discussed earlier, to achieve the best pumping
performance, the calculated stresses were obtained during the
micro pump resonance operating conditions, which result in
the most efficient pumping flow rate. In order to take all of
these considerations in to account, three types of FEA
analysis were considered in the simulation:
 Electro static analysis to obtain the voltage
distribution used to excite the piezo electric material.
 Linear model analysis to determine the excitation
frequency for resonance, and
 Geometric non-linear transient analysis to determine
the stresses.

All three analyses were performed using the commercial FEA
software, ALGOR; with the non-transient stress results
obtained using Mechanical Event Simulation (MES). Before
any of these analyses could take place, an FEA model of the
micro pump was generated using CAD software. Three
dimensional, 8- node brick elements were used to describe
the solid geometry. The same mesh, which consists of
2744nodes and 2168 elements, was utilized for all three
analyses. The electrostatic analysis consisted of applying a
200 V load on each of the 10 layers of the PZT piezo electric
component. For the sake of completeness, the entire
geometric model was considered.

Figure a: 1st mode shape of micropump has a Figure b:2nd mode shape of micropump has a
Frequency of 118.47 HZ. frequency of 202.76 Hz.

rd th
d:4 mode
hasa a

Figure e: 5th mode shape of micropump
has a frequency of 381.31 Hz.

The bottom of the micro pump was grounded, thus the

resulting voltage distribution is approximately zero
everywhere except on the PZT component. This voltage
distribution was subsequently coupled with a non-linear
transient stress analysis. Before the transient analysis could
be performed, a linear model analysis was conducted to
determine the natural frequencies of the micro pump.
The mode shapes in the above figure are scaled for
the sake of visualization. It is important to note that the
model analysis must include the PZT component because as
it is bonded to the diaphragm, its mass and geometry have a
significant effect on the overall dynamic behavior of the
Resonant behavior was utilized to maximize this
motion of the diaphragm. Specifically, the load induced by
the voltage applied to the piezo electric component was

oscillated at a frequency that maximizes the motion of the
diaphragm but more importantly at a frequency that
maximizes the flow rate through the micro pump. For the
figure one can ascertain that exciting the micro pump at its
first natural frequency should result in the most efficient
design. Because the oscillating peaks and valleys of the 2nd
mode are located nearly above the inlet and outlet one could
argue that this mode could also produce an efficient design as
fluid would easily be transferred from the portion
surrounding the inlet to that around the outlet- a type of
peristaltic motion. The drawback associated with this mode
though is that it does not result in the largest volume change
throughout a cycle. Because the 1st mode fulfills the
requirement for greatest volume change, it became the
primary focus of non-linear stress analysis. During the
simulation the frequency of the micro pump was loaded at a
frequency of 118.47Hz – the 1st mode. The oscillation in the
simulated event can thus be considered equivalent to that
resulting from a direct transient analysis involving
electrostatic effects. For boundary conditions, the micro
pump is maintained in place by constraining its bottom
surface to remain fixed.

The micro pump used here has low failure rates for
insulin injection. To assure the pump reliability for high cycle
fatigue, it is necessary to design the pump with the maximum
stress level is kept lower than the stress endurance limit of the
diaphragm material. By connecting this micro pump to a
sensor connected to the blood vessels, it is continuously
check the glucose level in the blood and can assure the

patients good health without the diabetes attack using the
MEMS technology. The bodily implantation also provides an
immediate solution to the patients rather than the orthodox
method of rushing up to the doorstep of the Doctors.



Tata McGraw Hill - 2002