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New micro instrument controls medicine flows
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Published November 3, 2004

SINTEF research scientists at the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory in Oslo have developed a flow metre with fluid channels thinner than a strand of hair. The new device controls that patients receive the correct dosage of medicine.

The new invention is a micro-technological control instrument that can measure medicine flows. The active components in the sensor are only a few thousandths of a millimetre thick and the tiny device can measure liquid amounts of less than one-millionth of a litre.

The invention means much safer dosing for patients reliant on a continual supply of medicine from medicine pumps, such as patients with cerebral palsy. When the medicine pumps are surgically inserted under the skin, small volumes of muscle relaxant medication can continually be released by the spinal cord to control spasms. Cancer patients can use a portable morphine pump for pain relief, while diabetic patients can have the pleasure of a medicine pump for round-the-clock insulin dosing.

The tiny invention has already generated considerable attention with senior scientist Liv Furuberg fielding business enquiries from three international medical equipment producers.

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