By: 10 December 2019
Engineering laboratory joins European-wide programme to improve infusion patient safety

As part of the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR), TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory has joined a research consortium which aims to improve techniques for infusion drug delivery.

Previous research has shown that infusion device flow rate variability can contribute to medical errors that have severe consequences for patients. The ‘Metrology for Drug Delivery’ research project aims to improve diagnostics and patient safety by developing new calibration methods and traceability for drug delivery devices, such as multi-infusion systems, implantable infusion pumps, insulin pumps and pain controllers

As the UK’s National Measurement Institute, responsible for flow measurement standards, the organisation will contribute to the development of a better-defined drug measurement infrastructure. This will enhance drug delivery and multi-infusion system accuracy, down to very low flow rates and volumes, allowing infusion pump manufacturers to improve the accuracy of device information and drug measurement precision at the point of use.  A further objective is to enable the validation of microflows, thus opening the door to the implementation of new lab-on-a-chip technology and organ-on-a chip applications.

Dr Emmelyn Graham, Flow Measurement Consultant, at TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory, said: “At the heart of the research consortium’s metrological effort will be the characterisation of flow rates and pressures to solve problems and prevent errors that are currently encountered in everyday infusion allocations. By validating the promised improvements in drug delivery made by newly developed continuous infusion technologies, it hopes to make a positive contribution to patient treatment and safety. As a respected flow measurement R&D specialist, we are well positioned to make a very significant contribution to these research goals and deliver a positive clinical impact which helps to prevent harmful dosing errors.”

As part of the Metrology for Drug Delivery research project, TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory will be delivering against a wide range of research activities, including:

  • Development of primary standards for dynamic flow measurement and extended flow ranges.
  • Inline measurement of the viscosity for the characterisation of liquids or mixtures.
  • Novel calibration procedures for existing medical devices.
  • Novel calibration procedures for multi infusion systems.

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