Our vision is to realize a smart vivarium whereby a network of implanted microinfusion pumps may be remotely controlled from a single computing station. Automation of drug administration and on demand dose adjustment in freely-moving animals offers greater throughput and improved outcomes compared to existing technologies. Towards this end, this proposal focuses on the development of a wirelessly-operated micro infusion pump system scaled for small laboratory animals that provides controlled drug administration of any liquid formulation regardless of physicochemical properties. This wireless and implantable system also offers improvements in animal welfare by eliminating catheter tethers and the use of restraints. Such a drug delivery platform can benefit investigators from many NIH institutes supporting the biomedical, neuroscience, and behavioral research. Micropumps and wireless controllers were successfully demonstrated in NIH-sponsored research at the University of Southern California, but the research devices were assembled manually one at a time and customized to a specific application. Fluid Synchrony LLC, a university-based startup, was formed to transition these tools from lab-to-marketplace and address demand for these micropump systems by animal researchers from academia, pharmaceuticals industry, and clinical research organizations. Fluid Synchrony received an NSF Phase 1 SBIR award to establish feasibility of (1) pump component miniaturization, (2) wireless control and operation of a single pump, and (3) benchtop verification of a prototype pump system. This NIH SBIR proposal will advance commercial readiness by demonstrating robust control of multiple pumps simultaneously, in vivo verification in multiple mice under vivarium conditions with bioluminescence imaging, and micropump implantation biocompatibility.
Three specific aims are proposed:
Specific Aim 1 : Develop robust inductive power transfer system for orientation-independent wireless activation of multiple pumps per cage.
Specific Aim 2 : Demonstration of consistent wirelessly performance of single and multiple pumps.
Specific Aim 3 : In vivo demonstration of group wireless dosing and bioluminescence imaging.

Public Health Relevance

Drug administration is a critical tool in biomedical research and clinical care yet few and imperfect administration technologies are available for research animals. To achieve precise control of drug delivery in freely behaving animals and improve animal welfare in administration paradigms, we will develop the first wireless and implantable micro infusion pump system for delivery in small research animals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-Q (11))
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Cole, Alison E
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Fluid Synchrony, LLC
Los Angeles
United States
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