Accurate Drug Delivery with Pressure Sensors

Automated Drug Delivery System

Automated drug delivery

Automated drug delivery systems can greatly improve the safety and accuracy of medication administration, particularly in critical care and other high-risk medical settings. It is a process in which an automated system administers medication to a patient. Examples of automated drug delivery include:

Intravenous (IV) medication: Automated drug delivery systems are commonly used to administer IV medications, particularly in critical care settings. These systems can deliver a precise amount of medication over a specified period of time, reducing the risk of medication errors and adverse effects.

Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA): PCA is a method of pain management in which patients self-administer pain medication through an automated pump. The pump is programmed to deliver a specified dose of medication when the patient presses a button, allowing patients to control their own pain management while minimizing the risk of overdose or other complications.

Anesthesia: Automated drug delivery systems are used in anesthesia to administer medication to patients during surgical procedures. These systems can be programmed to deliver a specific amount of medication at precise intervals, ensuring that patients remain in a safe and controlled state of anesthesia throughout the procedure.

Chemotherapy: Automated drug delivery systems are also used to administer chemotherapy to cancer patients. These systems can deliver a precise dose of medication over a specified period of time, reducing the risk of side effects and complications.

Insulin pumps: Automated insulin pumps are commonly used to manage diabetes. These devices deliver insulin to the patient’s body on a continuous basis, with the dosage adjusted based on the patient’s blood glucose levels. This can help patients achieve better glycemic control and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes.

Neonatal care: Automated drug delivery systems are used in neonatal care to administer medications to premature infants. These systems can deliver precise doses of medication, which is particularly important in the care of fragile newborns.

In addition, intravenous rehydration, where a patient is provided fluids directly to the bloodstream to quickly hydrate, in another potential use of automated delivery.

How the system works

Automated drug delivery systems is used with liquid medication and typically work as follows:

  1. The stored medication is connected to an infusion pump. The pump is designed to deliver a precise amount of the medication over a specified period of time.
  2. An automated system is used to program the pump with the necessary dosage and timing parameters. The system may also be used to monitor the patient’s condition and adjust the dosage accordingly.
  3. The infusion pump is connected and the medication is administered directly into the patient.
  4. The automated delivery system monitors the patient to adjust the dosage of medication as necessary.
  5. The system may also include safety features, such as alarms and alerts, to notify healthcare providers of any irregularities or potential complications.

The role pressure sensors play in automated drug infusion systems

Pressure sensors are an important part of automated drug delivery systems.  They provide a continuous feedback mechanism to control the flow of the drug(s) into the patient’s body. Here is how pressure sensors work in automated drug infusion systems:

  • A differential pressure sensor is placed in the infusion line, downstream from the pump. The pressure sensor measures the pressure of the drug as it flows through the infusion line.
  • The pressure sensor sends continuous feedback to a control unit, which analyzes the signals and adjusts the pump’s flow rate as necessary to maintain the desired flow of medication.
  • The control unit can be programmed to deliver the drug at a specific rate or to respond to changes in the patient’s condition, such as changes in blood pressure or heart rate. The pressure sensor ensures that the drug is delivered at the correct rate and pressure, improving the accuracy and safety of the drug infusion process.
  • If the pressure sensor detects any irregularities in the pressure of the drug, it can trigger an alarm or stop the infusion to prevent harm to the patient.

Pressure sensors in drug infusion can greatly improve the accuracy and safety of the drug delivery process. By providing continuous feedback to a control unit, pressure sensors enable the automation of drug infusion, reducing the risk of human error and improving the efficiency of healthcare delivery.

Superior Sensor Technology’s Pressure Sensors for Drug Infusion Systems

The first system-in-a-sensor integrated platform in the industry is Superior’s proprietary NimbleSenseTM architecture. This architecture combines the highest precision and dependability with features that are specific to each application by utilizing a highly differentiating advanced pressure sensing system and the ability to integrate optional building blocks. Superior’s solutions offer many benefits for automated drug delivery systems thanks to the unique feature set and capabilities of the ND Series.

ND Series

The ND Series extends the compensated operating temperature down to -20°C and up to 85°C, fast 2.25 ms response time and selectable bandwidth filters. The low pressure differential pressure sensors in the ND line support pressure ranges as low as ±0.25 inH2O (±62.5 Pa) to as high as ±30 inH2O (±7.5 kPa).

Key features of the low pressure differential sensors include:

  • Multi-Range technology that allows one device to support up to 7 calibrated pressure ranges.
  • Selectable bandwidth filter from 1 to 200 Hz.
  • Exceptional zero stability.
  • Extremely high accuracy within 0.05% of the selected range.
  • 16-bit resolution (each selected range).
  • Total error band less than 0.15% FSS.

By combining a sophisticated piezoresistive sensing element with amplification, ADC, DSP, and digital interface, the ND Series provides a level of integration that significantly simplifies design efforts. New functionality is made possible by advanced digital processing, which streamlines system development and manufacturing while increasing product reliability.

The ND Series is more than just a pressure sensor; it is a pressure sensing sub-system that includes optional integrated closed loop control, advanced digital filtering, and a 3-mode pressure switch.


The ND Series pressure sensors are in production and available through Digi-Key and Mouser.

Similar Posts