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Integrated Multi Line Bubble & Occlusion Sensor for Compounding Systems

Market: Medical, Pharmaceutical/Medical | Product Line: Bubble & Occlusion Sensors


Drug and nutrient compounding pumps can automatically mix several compounds together to create solutions that contain appropriate doses of multiple drugs and nutrients. During this process, it is critical that there’s a minimal amount of air bubbles introduced into the mixture because it can cause such problems like possible incorrect dosing.

Also, if a blockage occurs in any of the lines it could result in events like incorrect amount of drugs or nutrients introduced to the mixture, or the mixture not reaching its intended destination in the first place. SMD Sensors upstream occlusion sensors non-invasively detects blockages by monitoring force exerted in the tubing during dispense.

Customer Challenge:

Detection of air bubbles and line blockages is critical in ensuring the proper function of a drug and nutrient compounding pump. The sensors must be able to detect bubbles of various sizes and blockages across multiple lines of various diameters.

Strain Measurement Devices Solution:

Addressing both air bubble and occlusion issues unique to drug and nutrient compounding pumps, Strain Measurement Devices built an integrated occlusion/bubble sensor that accommodates multiple lines at once. A total of four bubble sensors, that utilize SMD’s proprietary ultrasonic detection hardware and software, monitor multiple lines for bubbles. These sensors are calibrated using customer supplied tubing to detect dangerous bubble sizes and ignore nuisance (acceptable) bubbles.

Two occlusion sensors monitor multiple lines, each occlusion sensor is designed and calibrated to detect any increase or decrease in pressure, typical of a blockage event. The sensor does this by non-invasively measuring in line pressure. An increase in pressure indicates a downstream occlusion, while a decrease in pressure indicates an upstream occlusion. The sensor includes an integrated lid with a magnetic latch and a reed switch to detect when the lid is closed.

Custom Solutions are a high focus at Strain Measurement Devices, our engineers have designed many combination units offering small housing packages while hosting multiple sensors. About 90% of Strain Measurement products are custom designed, these sensors meet the more specialized needs for OEM’s. SMD’s engineering team designs sensors for unique requirements and aggressive cost targets. Typical specialized requirements include small sizes, magnetic resistance, nuclear resistant, implantable, difficult environments, and overload proof sensors. Custom specs like microfludic bubble sensing can even be calibrated into standard bubble sensor units.