What is a Syringe Pump?
A syringe pump is a pump used to deliver precise and accurate amounts of fluid in high-impact research environments ranging in fields from chemistry to neuroscience.
Types of Syringe Pumps
There are two broad types of pumps:
- Research Syringe Pump: are devices used in research laboratories for applications that require very small fluid deliveries. Research pumps typically handle smaller volumes and offer additional features that benefit research yet are impractical for in vivo use.
Medical Infusion Pump: are devices used to deliver controlled quantities of fluids such as nutrients, drugs, and blood to patients. They can be used for in vivo diagnosis, treatment, and research. Medical pumps should be sufficiently safe to prevent injury or even death from air bubbles and other hazards. Only highly competent medical staff should operate or supervise their use.
The motor drives the plate, pushing the plunger which ejects the fluid from the syringe. Continuous flow can be achieved by using pumps with two syringes, where one pulls liquid and the other pushes liquid.
Most modern syringe pumps can be programmed for higher accuracy and improved control, and some models can be connected to a computer to record the infusion history. Moreover, pumps that have an adjustable syringe holder are more versatile in their applications.
In addition, some syringe pumps can have both infusion and withdrawal features, and others can accommodate multiple syringes (usually up to ۱۰ syringes). They can operate at very small volumetric flow rates (in the micro, nano, and pico ranges) while offering pulseless flow with very high precision in delivery.
Many parameters can be controlled in modern syringe pumps. For example, pressure control facilitates handling liquids with high viscosity or to introduce fluids under high pressure. Syringe heaters or preheated syringes offer temperature control. Some syringe pumps let users switch between different syringes to regulate the working range.
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Uses and Functions
Syringe pumps can be used in almost any application that involves precise metering, especially at the micro- and nanoscale. They are used in many research fields as precise dosing systems or to accurately deliver small quantities of reagents, mix miniscule volumes, and add traces of specific chemicals over the course of the experiment.
Syringe pumps can be used for scale-up, new material development, and materials characterization in chemical, pharmaceutical, catalysis, and materials science research. They can also play a major role in minimizing errors in the fields of microanalysis and instrumental analytics, such as mass spectrometry (MS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS).
Moreover, syringe pumps compatible with microfluidic applications are available in the market, which facilitates research in fields such as micro-environmental control. Syringe pumps can also facilitate precise infusion in medical and biological research; for instance, feeding small animals or delivering very small doses to specific sites in the brain in neuroscience research.
In conclusion, syringe pumps are useful for accelerating research and minimizing fluid delivery errors in many advanced research fields.