The spring-driven implantable pump. A low-cost alternative

B. D. Wigness, F. D. Dorman, T. D. Rohde, H. Buchwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In the current era of cost containment in medicine, manufacturing economics have become increasingly important. The authors devised an implantable pump powered by spring force from an elastomeric Belleville washer, which is also the outer flexible wall of the drug reservoir. Use of formed and injection molded parts provides for ost manufacturing, in contrast to the precision welded alternative designs. Additional advantages include insensitivity to changes in ambient temperature and pressure. Finite element modeling of the elastomer spring allows prediction of the effects of parameter changes on performance, so that expansions and reductions of scale can be made without compromising the unitorm spring rate of the device. A concern that subcutaneous fibrous encapsulation might markedly alter reservoir pressure was not supported by experimental data. In a unit implanted subcutaneously in a dog, reservoir pressures measured over a 4 year period were stable. This new, simple, implantable infusion pump can serve as an economical vehicle for prolonged parenteral drug treatment of ambulatory subjects in circumstances where continuous single-rate infusion is appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M454-M457
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

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