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可变容积的、形状记忆致动的胰岛素分配泵

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Publication number
CN101189431B
CN101189431B CN 200680018051 CN200680018051A CN101189431B CN 101189431 B CN101189431 B CN 101189431B CN 200680018051 CN200680018051 CN 200680018051 CN 200680018051 A CN200680018051 A CN 200680018051A CN 101189431 B CN101189431 B CN 101189431B
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system
pump
minimize
intelligent
shape
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CN 200680018051
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English (en)
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CN101189431A (zh )
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克里斯托弗·V·雷贾尔多
本杰明·M·拉什
阿瑟·E·安德森三世
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雅培糖尿病护理公司
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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04BPOSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS
    • F04B35/00Piston pumps characterised by the driving means to their working members, or by combination with, or adaptation to, specific driving engines or motors, not otherwise provided for
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M5/00Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests
    • A61M5/14Infusion devices, e.g. infusing by gravity; Blood infusion; Accessories therefor
    • A61M5/142Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps
    • A61M5/14212Pumping with an aspiration and an expulsion action
    • A61M5/14216Reciprocating piston type
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M5/00Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests
    • A61M5/14Infusion devices, e.g. infusing by gravity; Blood infusion; Accessories therefor
    • A61M5/142Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps
    • A61M5/14244Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps adapted to be carried by the patient, e.g. portable on the body
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F03MACHINES OR ENGINES FOR LIQUIDS; WIND, SPRING WEIGHT AND MISCELLANEOUS MOTORS; PRODUCING MECHANICAL POWER; OR A REACTIVE PROPULSIVE THRUST, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • F03GSPRING, WEIGHT, INERTIA OR LIKE MOTORS; MECHANICAL-POWER PRODUCING DEVICES OR MECHANISMS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR OR USING ENERGY SOURCES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • F03G7/00Mechanical-power-producing mechanisms, not otherwise provided for or using energy sources not otherwise provided for
    • F03G7/06Mechanical-power-producing mechanisms, not otherwise provided for or using energy sources not otherwise provided for using expansion or contraction of bodies due to heating, cooling, moistening, drying or the like
    • F03G7/065Mechanical-power-producing mechanisms, not otherwise provided for or using energy sources not otherwise provided for using expansion or contraction of bodies due to heating, cooling, moistening, drying or the like using a shape memory element
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04BPOSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS
    • F04B17/00Pumps characterised by combination with, or adaptation to, specific driving engines or motors
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04BPOSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS
    • F04B23/00Pumping installations or systems
    • F04B23/02Pumping installations or systems having reservoirs
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04BPOSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS
    • F04B35/00Piston pumps characterised by the driving means to their working members, or by combination with, or adaptation to, specific driving engines or motors, not otherwise provided for
    • F04B35/04Piston pumps characterised by the driving means to their working members, or by combination with, or adaptation to, specific driving engines or motors, not otherwise provided for the means being electric
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04BPOSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS
    • F04B49/00Control, e.g. of pump delivery, or pump pressure of, or safety measures for, machines, pumps, or pumping installations, not otherwise provided for, or of interest apart from, groups F04B1/00 - F04B47/00
    • F04B49/06Control using electricity
    • F04B49/065Control using electricity and making use of computers
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04BPOSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS
    • F04B9/00Piston machines or pumps characterised by the driving or driven means to or from their working members
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04BPOSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS
    • F04B9/00Piston machines or pumps characterised by the driving or driven means to or from their working members
    • F04B9/02Piston machines or pumps characterised by the driving or driven means to or from their working members the means being mechanical
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01FMEASURING VOLUME, VOLUME FLOW, MASS FLOW OR LIQUID LEVEL; METERING BY VOLUME
    • G01F11/00Apparatus requiring external operation and adapted at each repeated and identical operation to measure and separate a predetermined volume of fluid or fluent solid material from a supply or container without regard to weight and to deliver it
    • G01F11/02Apparatus requiring external operation and adapted at each repeated and identical operation to measure and separate a predetermined volume of fluid or fluent solid material from a supply or container without regard to weight and to deliver it with measuring chambers which expand or contract during measurement
    • G01F11/021Apparatus requiring external operation and adapted at each repeated and identical operation to measure and separate a predetermined volume of fluid or fluent solid material from a supply or container without regard to weight and to deliver it with measuring chambers which expand or contract during measurement of the piston type
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/02General characteristics of the apparatus characterised by a particular materials
    • A61M2205/0266Shape memory materials
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/02General characteristics of the apparatus characterised by a particular materials
    • A61M2205/0272Electro-active or magneto-active materials
    • A61M2205/0288Electro-rheological or magneto-rheological materials
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/33Controlling, regulating or measuring
    • A61M2205/3317Electromagnetic, inductive or dielectric measuring means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/70General characteristics of the apparatus with testing or calibration facilities
    • A61M2205/702General characteristics of the apparatus with testing or calibration facilities automatically during use
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F04POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS FOR LIQUIDS OR ELASTIC FLUIDS
    • F04BPOSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES FOR LIQUIDS; PUMPS
    • F04B2201/00Pump parameters
    • F04B2201/02Piston parameters
    • F04B2201/0201Position of the piston
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F05INDEXING SCHEMES RELATING TO ENGINES OR PUMPS IN VARIOUS SUBCLASSES OF CLASSES F01-F04
    • F05CINDEXING SCHEME RELATING TO MATERIALS, MATERIAL PROPERTIES OR MATERIAL CHARACTERISTICS FOR MACHINES, ENGINES OR PUMPS OTHER THAN NON-POSITIVE-DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES
    • F05C2251/00Material properties
    • F05C2251/08Shape memory

Abstract

一种便携式泵送系统,用于向使用者提供胰岛素或其它药剂。形状记忆元件用于启动泵并且智能系统控制致动器以使系统中的应力最小化,并提供精确且可靠的剂量输送。控制系统使用各种类型的反馈来监控并最优化泵送机构的位置。结构设计方面也使得应力最小化并且结构设计方面与系统的智能操作的组合产生了重量轻且成本低的泵,如果需要,可以以一次性的方式使用所述泵。

Description

可变容积的、形状记忆致动的胰岛素分配泵

技术领域

[0001] 本发明主要涉及便携式胰岛素或其它液体的输送系统,更具体地说,涉及用于这种系统的泵。

背景技术

[0002] 长期以来,胰岛素泵(insulin pump)被广泛使用,并由糖尿病患者用来自动输送胰岛素。许多当前可用的胰岛素泵都利用通用泵送技术,即注射泵(syringe pump)。在注射泵中,注射泵的柱塞由导向螺杆推进,该导向螺杆通过精密步进电机来转动。当柱塞前进时,流体从注射泵中被压出,通过导管进入患者体内。选择注射泵作为胰岛素泵的泵送技术的动机在于,注射泵能够以近乎连续的方式精确地输送普通糖尿病患者所需的较少量(约0. I至约I. Ocm3/天)的胰岛素。还可以通过调节电机的步进率而容易地大范围调节注射泵的输送速率以适应个体的变化胰岛素需求量(例如,基础速率和单次注射剂量)。虽然注 射泵在较大流速范围内以近乎连续的方式精确地输送液体的能力方面是独一无二的,但是这种性能是在高成本下达到的。当前可用的胰岛素泵是价值数千美元的复杂且昂贵的设备部件。该高成本主要归因于步进电机和导向螺杆机构的复杂性。这些部件还显著增大了胰岛素泵的总尺寸和重量。另外,由于其成本,当前可用的胰岛素泵具有高达两年的预期使用寿命,这使得装置的日常例行维护(诸如电源的再充电和胰岛素的再充注)成为必需。这些注射类型的泵即使被称作一次性的,也完全因为太昂贵而不能真正成为一次性的,或者如果被丢弃,则对患者和保险公司等来说成本非常高。

[0003] 形状记忆合金是在被施以电能时改变形状但在去除电能后又恢复为自然状态的一类材料的一部分。利用这些材料的这种独特属性,这些材料可用来构成致动器。可用形状记忆合金致动器制造泵。然而,形状记忆合金不具有注射泵中所用的精密步进电机的固有精确性和可重复性。尽管价格总是重要的,但在用于输送胰岛素或其它药剂的泵中精确性也是必须的。因此,必须提供一种系统来精确地控制和启动用形状记忆材料作为致动器的泵。

[0004] 发明内容

[0005] 本发明使用一种节省成本但精确的泵送系统和方法向使用者输送胰岛素或其它液体。本发明中使用的独特结构设计方面和智能控制系统实现了使用形状记忆合金来致动具有卓越可靠性和可重复性的泵送机构。

[0006] 根据本发明的一个方面,提供了一种泵送系统,其包括:壳体;该壳体中的柱塞;该壳体中的形状记忆元件,当电流流过所述元件时,所述元件改变长度,所述元件使得所述柱塞在第一和第二物理限制之间移动,以使得当所述柱塞处于第一物理限制处时所述壳体充满液体,而当所述柱塞处于第二物理限制时所述壳体基本排出液体;以及第一物理限制处的第一开关,用来指示所述柱塞是否处在第一物理限制处。

[0007] 根据本发明的另一个方面,还提供了一种分配液体的方法,包括:通过使形状记忆材料收缩并移动柱塞,将液体吸入到泵送壳体中;通过使形状记忆材料放松并移动所述柱塞,将液体从所述泵送壳体中排出;监控所述柱塞的位置;以及基于所监控的位置控制所述柱塞的位置。

[0008] 根据本发明的又一个方面,还提供了一种液压泵,包括:壳体;所述壳体中的柱塞;驱动所述柱塞的形状记忆元件;行程长度,其等于所述柱塞的泵送表面最大行进距离;位置感测机构,其感测所述柱塞的位置;以及包括线性反馈机构的定位系统,其中所述定位系统以小于所述行程长度的增量移动所述柱塞,导致部分柱塞行程。

[0009] 根据本发明的一个方面,还提供了一种泵,包括:具有最大容积的壳体;致动器,包括使柱塞移动的形状记忆合金,所述柱塞从壳体中排出液体;以及控制系统,其利用线性反馈来感测所述致动器的位置,并且来操纵所述致动器以提供小于最大容积的可变体积的剂量。

[0010] 根据本发明的一个方面,还提供了一种泵,包括:形状记忆合金;连接于所述形状记忆合金的柱塞,所述柱塞具有行程长度;用于感测所述柱塞在所述柱塞行程的任意点处的精确位置的装置;以及用于通过改变所述形状记忆合金的长度而控制所述柱塞的位置的装置,所述用于控制的装置能够将所述柱塞定位在所述柱塞行程的任意点处,从而使所述 泵能够泵送可变剂量大小的液体。

[0011] 根据本发明的一个方面,还提供了一种分配液体的方法,包括:提供连接于形状记忆元件的柱塞;向所述形状记忆元件提供电势以改变所述元件的长度;监控所述柱塞的位置;以及基于所监控的位置调节施加于所述形状记忆元件的电势以移动所述柱塞并分配液体。

[0012] 根据本发明的一个方面,还提供了一种泵送液体的方法,包括:向形状记忆合金施加至少一个电脉冲以移动柱塞;检测所述形状记忆合金的应力状态;以及如果检测到所述应力状态,修正所述至少一个脉冲。

[0013] 根据本发明的一个方面,还提供了一种泵送系统,包括:壳体;所述壳体中的柱塞;所述壳体中的形状记忆元件,当电流流过所述元件时,所述元件改变长度,所述元件使所述柱塞在第一和第二物理限制之间移动,以使得当所述柱塞处于第一物理限制时所述壳体充满液体,而当所述柱塞处于第二物理限制时所述壳体基本排出液体;以及连接于所述形状记忆元件的过载活塞,所述过载活塞移动以适应所述形状记忆元件的改变并减小所述泵送系统上的应力。

[0014] 本发明不仅实现了节约成本的泵送系统,而且还实现了耐用、精确、重量轻且容错的系统。尽管该泵送系统是精确、重量轻且容错的,但在泵是最有利的医疗应用中,多种原因使得所期望的是较为频繁地丢弃泵送系统和更换泵送系统的部分。本发明泵送机构的低成本实现了这种一次性用途,与此同时泵在整个泵使用寿命期间都能提供精确的剂量。控制系统使得泵中的应力最小化,并且如果泵被不适当地充注或者如果在泵送系统中检测到阻塞的话可产生警告。泵中应力的降低使得泵更小且重量更轻,并具有更长的使用寿命,这对于泵的使用者来说显然是有利的。此外,即使在检测出故障的情况下,智能控制系统也允许泵操作。例如,如果由于某种原因导致无法获得泵的完整行程,则可利用较小的行程(以更高的频率),并且泵可继续向使用者提供所需剂量。

[0015] 本发明的其它方面、优点和特征包含在以下对其示例性实例的描述中,所述描述应与附图结合进行,其中在所有附图中相同(以及相似)的标号用于描述相同的特征。即使编号元件的前缀可根据图号而改变,但如果在各实施例中编号元件的其余部分是相同的,则所述部件与针对先前描述的实施例所述的相同或相似。例如,图3的电容器304与图5的电容器504相同或相似。在这种情况下,不再对该元件进行描述,而是应对先前附图(该实例中的图3)的描述进行参考。为了所有的目的,文中提及的所有专利、专利申请、文章以及其它公开物整体结合于此作为参考。

附图说明

[0016] 图1A、图1B、和图IC示出了处于不同操作阶段的泵100。

[0017] 图ID是泵送系统或“泵” 150的框图。

[0018] 图2A、图2B、和图2C示出了处于不同操作阶段的泵200。

[0019] 图3A和图3B示出了与泵200或其它泵的实施例结合使用的泵驱动电路的不同实施例。

[0020] 图4A和图4B示出了处于不同操作阶段的泵400。

[0021] 图5示出了与泵400或其它泵的实施例结合使用的泵驱动电路的实施例。

[0022] 图6A和图6B示出了处于不同操作阶段的泵600。

[0023] 图7A和图7B示出了处于不同操作阶段的泵700。

[0024] 图8示出了与泵700或其它泵的实施例结合使用的泵驱动电路的实施例。

[0025] 图9A和图9B示出了处于不同操作阶段的泵900。

[0026] 图9C、图9D和图9E示出了用于线性反馈的位置编码的不同实施例。

[0027] 图10示出了与泵900或其它泵的实施例结合使用的泵驱动电路的实施例。

[0028] 图IlA是在未充注状态下操作的泵的图表。

[0029] 图IlB是在充注状态下操作的泵的图表。

[0030] 图IlC是泵中阻塞检测的图表。

[0031] 图12A和图12B是随时间变化的泵的操作的图表。

具体实施方式

[0032] 本发明使用一种节省成本但精确的泵送系统和方法向使用者输送胰岛素或其它液体。本发明中使用的独特结构设计方面和智能控制系统实现了使用形状记忆合金来致动具有卓越可靠性和可重复性的泵送机构。

[0033] 本发明不仅实现节约成本的泵送系统,而且还实现了耐用、精确、重量轻且容错的系统。尽管该泵送系统是精确的、重量轻且容错的,但在泵是最有利的医疗应用中,多种原因使得所期望的是较为频繁地丢弃泵送系统和更换泵送系统的部分。本发明泵送机构的低成本实现了这种一次性用途,与此同时泵在整个泵使用寿命期间都能提供精确的剂量。控制系统使得泵中的应力最小化,并且如果泵被不适当地充注或者如果在泵送系统中检测到阻塞的话可产生警告。泵中应力的降低使得泵更小且重量更轻,并且具有更长的使用寿命,这对于泵的使用者来说显然是有利的。此外,即使在检测出故障的情况下,智能控制系统也允许泵操作。例如,如果由于某种原因导致无法获得泵的完整行程,则可(以更高的频率)利用较小的行程,并且泵可继续向使用者提供所需剂量。

[0034] 如以上简要描述的,形状记忆合金用于致动根据本发明制造的泵。在经过尺寸变化的过程中,形状记忆材料根据温度变化经受可逆的相变(phase transition或transformation),或者可逆的结构相变。通常,这样的转变表现为从材料的一种固相到另一固相的材料变化,例如由于材料晶体结构的改变或由于材料分子级别的重新排列。在镍钛诺(Nitinol,镍钛合金)的情况下,例如,超弹性合金具有低温相,或马氏体相,以及高温相,或奥氏体相。这些相也可被称作刚性相和柔软且可延展相,或者响应相。与具体合金材料有关的具体相变可不同。对于本领域中普通技术人员来说形状记忆材料是很好理解的。

[0035] 作为本发明泵( 或其一部分)的实施例的泵100在图IA中示出处于未启动状态、在图IB中示出处于完全启动状态、在图IC中示出处于应力加载状态。泵体包括壳体101、顶部盖102、以及柱塞盖103。在栗内部具有柱塞104,该柱塞通常(在未启动状态下)由柱塞偏压弹簧105保持抵靠在柱塞盖103上。相似地,过载活塞106通常(在未启动状态下)由过载活塞弹簧107保持抵靠在顶部盖102上,该过载活塞弹簧107 (具有更高的弹簧常数k)强于柱塞偏压弹簧105。柱塞104通过形状记忆合金线108连接于过载活塞106,当通过从V+109触点经由形状记忆合金线108流至V-110触点的电流的一个脉冲或多个脉冲加热时该形状记忆合金线108收缩,其中V-110触点可为系统接地(GND)参考。每个脉冲中的电力均由通过V+109触点和V-110触点施加到形状记忆合金线108上的电压确定。值得注意的是,壳体由绝缘材料制成,而柱塞104和过载活塞106或者由导电材料(例如金属)制成或者涂有适合的导电材料。根据最适合于给定的设计,顶部盖102和柱塞盖103可由绝缘材料或导电材料制成。

[0036] 图IA示出了处于未启动(inactive)状态下的泵,其中形状记忆合金线108未收缩,柱塞104由柱塞偏压弹簧105保持抵靠在柱塞盖103上并且过载活塞106由过载活塞弹簧107保持抵靠在顶部盖102上。这是泵100在每次启动或泵送循环后所返回的状态。

[0037] 图IB示出了处于完全启动状态下的泵,其中形状记忆合金线108已收缩成足以拉动柱塞104向上抵靠在构置于壳体101内的止挡部上而不再运动,而过载活塞106由过载活塞弹簧107保持抵靠在顶部盖102上。这种状态实现了柱塞104的完整行程。

[0038] 图IC示出了处于应力加载状态下的泵,其中形状记忆合金线108已充分收缩,从而拉动过载活塞106向上抵靠在构置于壳体101内的第二止挡部上。在这种状态下,壳体101、柱塞104、过载活塞106、以及形状记忆合金线108受到最大应力。

[0039] 基本泵100的设计是这样的,即,对于驱动泵的电路没有反馈(开环)并且对在图IB所示的完全启动状态之后泵的动作提供设计余量,以确保泵达到完全启动状态。如果在最坏条件(诸如冷线(cold wire))下施加于形状记忆合金线108的电流的一个脉冲或多个脉冲降低至实现完全启动状态所需的最小值的话,则处于最佳条件(诸如暖线(warmwire))下的基本泵100的动作将朝向图IC中所示的应力加载状态驱动泵。泵100的设计以及过载活塞弹簧107的选择取决于最坏条件与最佳条件之间的差别。在正常工作(无故障)条件下,应力泵总是完成完整行程(如图IB所示的完全启动状态),并且可靠地工作超过预期使用寿命,因为过度收缩及所产生的应力最小化(如从图IC所示的应力加载状态中看到的)。所考虑的最坏条件与最佳条件包括:操作温度范围、最小泵送速率(例如,最小基础输送速率)、以及最大泵送速率(例如,最大单次注射速率)。

[0040] 重要的是要注意到,泵100的开环设计缺乏反馈,因此不能自适应地调节故障,因为并未感测到所述故障。例如,诸如柱塞104被卡住的泵故障可导致胰岛素输送输出量减小或为零,而且在被给予了不适当的剂量时使用者(患者)还会以为泵在正确地操作。

[0041]图ID是示出了总体系统的框图,其中各个泵实施例都作为其一部分。总体系统150包括微处理器150A、驱动电路150B、以及泵元件150C。可认为所有这些部件都用于构成泵,尽管在本领域的普通技术人员中,泵元件150C有时也单独被称作泵。下面在本申请中,将详细描述泵150C的和一部分驱动电路150B的许多不同实施例。在胰岛素输送系统150中,所有部件(所示出的)可被封装在一起或者它们可被独立分组。例如,所期望的是将泵和驱动电路作为一组,同时远程设置泵元件。诸如使用者输入装置和显示器等其它部件未示出,但它们都由与泵和驱动电路结合的处理器控制。

[0042] 在图2中示出了另一实施例。图2中所示的设计包括指示完全启动状态完成的反馈,但在其它方面与图I中所示的泵相似。泵200包括来自于开关(PIST0N-NC 211)的反馈,其表示过载活塞206处于泵的顶部或与顶部盖202相接触。在下面的描述中,开关,诸如开关211 (其提供反馈)也可被引用为它所提供的反馈。图2中所示的具有PIST0N-NC 211反馈的泵以与图I中所示的基本泵100相似的方式构造和操作。反馈来自于常闭(NC)开关,该开关表示过载活塞206与顶部盖202相接触,如图2A和图2B所示。当泵200进入 图2C中所示的过载状态时,开关断开,并且反馈被供给到驱动电路。如果在用于泵100的最大脉冲期间未接收到反馈,则出现错误并且泵200的操作可被停止。PIST0N-NC 211反馈被示为直接连接到顶部盖202,这表示顶部盖202或者是由导电材料(例如金属)制成或者是涂有适合的导电材料。如果给定泵的设计要求顶部盖202由绝缘材料制成,则PIST0N-NC211反馈可被移动到顶部盖202的内表面,以使PIST0N-NC 211反馈与处于图2A中所示的未启动状态下的过载活塞206直接接触。

[0043] 泵200的优点是基于来自(常闭)开关211的反馈而进行的故障检测(如果在最大脉冲持续期间中开关未被启动)。由于在实现最大泵动作时终止了启动脉冲,因此泵还节约能量。使能量消耗最小化对便携式胰岛素泵是极为重要的,这是因为这使得泵可使用的时间最大化,而不会给使用者带来不便。

[0044] 图2C示出了处于应力加载状态下的泵,其中形状记忆合金线208已充分地收缩以向下拉动过载活塞206,而不是向上抵靠在构置于壳体201内的止挡部上。在这种状态下,壳体201、柱塞204、过载活塞206以及形状记忆合金线208受到应力。然而,该应力受限于过载活塞弹簧207的弹簧常数(k),因此与图IC中所示的过载活塞106抵靠在壳体101的硬止挡部上的应力加载状态相比较,该应力降低了。用于进一步降低已最小化的应力所用的方法是,终止从V+209触点经由形状记忆合金线208流至V-210触点的电流的一个脉冲或多个脉冲。这使得形状记忆合金线208停止收缩并因而降低泵200上的应力。

[0045] 如图3A和图3B中所示,存在两种主要方法来终止对于形状记忆合金线208的一个脉冲或多个脉冲。实际驱动电路是相同的,并且图3A与图3B之间的唯一区别在于下面所述的电压输出(Vout)和反馈连接。每个驱动电路都连接到电源VCC 301以及连接于系统接地GND 302。每个驱动电路均具有从反馈到VCC 301的负载电阻R 303和从反馈到GND302的可选滤波或“防反跳”电容器(“debounce” capacitor) C 304。反馈是数字式的,并且当出现大约为OV或GND 302(即开关被闭合)时检测到逻辑“0”,而当出现大约等于电源电压或VCC 301 (即当开关被断开时通过负载电阻R303的功能)时检测到逻辑“I”。如果不存在任选滤波或“防反跳”电容器C 304,则当开关由于与开关触点相关的机械振动而断开或闭合时,反馈可暂时振荡。如果存在任选滤波或“防反跳”电容器C 304,则反馈实际检测电容器C 304上的电压,该电压不可能瞬时改变。当开关闭合时电容器C 304将快速放电至大约OV或GND302 ;当开关断开时电容器将在与负载电阻R 303和电容器C 304的数值成比例的速率下充电至大约电源电压或VCC 301。例如,量值为10,000欧姆(IOkQ)的负载电阻R 303和量值为IOOpF的电容器C 304应具有I微秒(I u sec)的时间常数并且反馈的状态应在大约2微秒(2i!Sec)之内从逻辑“0”改变为逻辑“1”,而不会有任何振荡(噪音,可能由驱动电路不适当地施加)施加在反馈上。

[0046] 图3A中所示的第一种方法是,将PIST0N-NC 211连接至反馈以选通(gate)由驱动电路产生的驱动信号Vout,并且该驱动信号Vout连接到泵V+209触点。当驱动电路接收到图2C中所示的进入过载状态的反馈时,则一个脉冲或多个脉冲可被终止,从而应力被减小并且节约了电能。图3B中所示的第二种方法是,通过PIST0N-NC 211触点而不是通过V+209触点向泵200提供电力。只要PIST0N-NC 211开关如图2C中所示那样断开,这种方法就自动地从形状记忆合金线208中去除电能。如果反馈被忽略(即驱动电路被简化以去除反馈),则过载活塞206可在图2B中所示的状态与图2C中所示的状态之间振荡,直到来自 于驱动电路的脉冲被终止并且仅实现部分电力节约。如图3A所示,如果利用了反馈的话,则当驱动电路接收到图2C中所示的进入过载状态的反馈时,则脉冲可被终止以防止振荡,并与第一种方法中一样实现了最大电能节约。

[0047] PIST0N-NC 211反馈的添加减小了泵中产生的总作用力,并允许泵被制造得更小、更轻,同时可靠性得以提高。遗憾的是,如果柱塞204阻塞,则过载活塞将开始移动并提供表示泵在适当地操作的反馈。而且,阻塞的柱塞204可能导致胰岛素输送的输出量减小或为零,但在这种情况下,当实际上输送了不适当的剂量时,使用者(患者)还会误认为泵在正确地操作。

[0048] 在图4A和4B的泵400中示出了本发明的另一个实施例。泵400包含(更直接地)表示完全启动状态完成的反馈。泵400使用(PLUNGER-N0)开关411来表示柱塞404抵靠在上部止挡部上。该开关取代开关211 (或与之结合),并且参照泵200描述的所有反馈控制和应力限制特征都存在于泵400中。图5中所示的驱动电路500与前面描述的驱动电路300相似。如果柱塞未处在基于施加在致动器上的电势(potential)所预期位置上,泵400也可检测关于泵的故障,这也在前面描述过。相似地,如果柱塞未处在基于施加在致动器上的电势所预期位置上,该泵也可检测阻塞。

[0049] 在图6A和6B的泵600中示出了本发明的另一个实施例。泵600与泵400在功能上相同,但却没有过载活塞406和过载弹簧407。由于没有这些零件,因此顶部盖607优选具有一定量的柔韧性(compliance,柔度,顺应性)并用作简化的弹簧。泵600具有比泵400更少的零件,因此比泵400更轻、更小。更少零件通常还导致在泵的整个使用寿命期间提高可靠性。

[0050] 在图7A和7B的泵700中示出了本发明的又一个实施例。泵700与泵600相似,具有反馈开关710(PLUNGER-NC)的附加优点,即,直接表示完全启动状态的完成并(在泵循环完成时)返回到未启动状态。由于泵700 “知道”何时泵循环完成(以及何时应该完成),因此“知道”何时存在故障,并且可在公知的容错设计中允许(accommodate)这种故障。容错既在于柱塞704动作的直接测定又在于确保在最大可容许的泵循环时间之后柱塞停靠在失效保护状态下(这也可表示泵系统中的主要阻塞)。如果供给到V-708触点的电力(GND)(通过串联开关)被切换为提供辅助容错(如一些泵送系统中那样),则附加的反馈也将表示V-708开关(出于清楚的目的而未示出)的状态,因为在串联电力开关闭合时开关710(PLUNGER-NC)的值将为OV而在串联电力开关被断开时开关710 (PLUNGER-NC)的值将为VCC。如果在最大泵循环时间内柱塞不返回到完全降下状态,泵也可检测到阻塞。

[0051] PLUNGER-NC 710反馈被示出为直接连接于柱塞盖703,这表示柱塞盖703或者由导电材料(例如金属)制成或者涂有适合的导电材料,与图2的顶部盖202相似。如果给定泵的设计要求柱塞盖703由绝缘材料制成,则PLUNGER-NC 710反馈可被移动到柱塞盖703的内表面,以使PLUNGER-NC 710反馈与处于图7A所示的未启动状态下的柱塞704直接接触。图8中所示的驱动电路800与前述的驱动电路相似。泵700和驱动电路800包括用于容错系统的最小结构。下面描述的所有线性反馈技术均在增加了成本和复杂性的代价下添

加了故障解决办法并提高了容错性。

[0052] 线性反馈

[0053] 前面所述的泵的实施例还可包括直接表示出柱塞位置的线性反馈。线性反馈可为模拟的或数字的,并用于检测柱塞的位置。线性反馈也可基于泵各个操作阶段过程中柱塞的位置指示是否存在故障。线性反馈系统可使用导电编码标记。这是检查柱塞位置的简单且经济的方式。可替换地,也可使用利用光学编码标记的光学位置感测。这更精确但也更复杂和昂贵。

[0054] 图9A和9B示出了本发明的另一实施例泵900。泵900与泵700相似,但除开关提供的反馈外还使用直接线性反馈。该反馈包含在图中所示的线性反馈信号(LINEAR-FB)911中。线性反馈也可用于检测泵的充注(priming),随后将参照图11对其进行描述。

[0055] 图9C示出了位置编码的一个可能的实施例,即一种提供线性反馈的方法。在该实施例中,编码方案使用导电编码标记。产生编码格(encoding grid)的一种方式是,利用丝网印刷在导电表面上的绝缘漆来绝缘某些区域。该导电涂层应位于移动部分的侧部上。例如,导电涂层可直接位于活塞上或位于活塞的附件上。编码格的黑色区域是其顶部上没有漆料的金属表面。编码格的白色区域涂覆有绝缘漆。顶部处的黑色行(长导电带)是参考接地。当触点930接触黑色方块时它们短路接地。当对地短路时称它们构成“1”,而当对地未短路时称它们构成“O”。如果需要的话该逻辑也可颠倒过来。

[0056] 在图9C中所示的位置中,接地触点与最高有效位(MSB)触点以及最低有效位(LSB)绝缘。因此,其处于位置0( 二进制位置00)。当该移动部分在触点930下面向左滑动时,则位置I ( 二进制位置01)将接着被感测到。当该部分再次向左滑动时,则位置2( 二进制位置10)将接着被感测到,依此类推。为了示出的目的,图9C示出了 4个位置,S卩,编码的2个二进制位。然而,也可将其扩展为任意数量的位置。例如,32个位置应需要5个二进制位。该数字化位置感测可用于活塞的数字反馈和控制,因此可用于控制活塞的位置和被输送的胰岛素的量。

[0057] 可使用光学编码取代上述导电编码。取代短路触点,光学传感器(例如,LED+光电池)用来感测是否存在闪亮金属或者是否存在吸收光线的黑色漆料。

[0058] 图9D中示出了对于图9C中所示的编码进行的微小改变。在图9D中编码标记或二进制位位于灰色编码中。也就是说,每一位置只允许一个二进制位改变。灰色编码具有本领域公知的若干有利特性。

[0059] 随着时间的过去,可能出现触点和各种其它零件的退化。例如,触点可被弄脏、磨损或损坏,并且污染物可造成错误的触点读取等。这通常导致误差或错读。有各种方式来使得误差最小化以及校正可能发生的各种误差。在一种方法中,对表面增加辅助的二进制位。可增加一个单独的二进制位(称作奇偶校验位)来检查一些类型的误差。可增加多个二进制位以用于更多的误差保护。通过若干增加的二进制位,既可检测误差又可校正误差。关于这点的措施是本领域中公知的汉明距离(Hamming distance)。简要地说,汉明距离可被理解为将一个字符串变成另一个字符串所需要的改变的二进制位的数量。有时使用字符数来代替二进制位的数量。

[0060] 误差检测和校正理论是用作一部分无线电通信理论的公知科学,并可应用于本发明的编码和位置识别机构。这包括BCH编码、奇偶校验码、以及R-S码等。图9E的系统包括奇偶校验码,该奇偶校验码可用于编码在移动物体上的误差校正。

[0061] 可通过为两个塑料绝缘表面电镀金属,或可替换地,简单地提供两个金属表面而 进行位置的模拟感测。这两个表面用作电容偏板,并一起构成电容器。一个电容偏板应为静止的,而另一个电容偏板应为包含活塞的移动组件的一部分。测得的电容与电容偏板之间的距离成比例,因此可用于测量活塞的位置。这种模拟位置感测可用于移动部的反馈和控制。

[0062] 也可通过磁测量而实现位置的模拟感测,所述磁测量通过为移动部增加磁体并在静止部上感测而进行。与上述电容测量相似,磁场将根据移动部与静止部之间的距离而改变。因此,磁性传感器可用于测量活塞的位置并且这种类型的模拟位置感测可用于移动部的反馈和控制。一种类型的公知磁性传感器为霍耳效应传感器,但也可使用任何磁性传感器。

[0063] 可使用电阻测定来执行模拟线性反馈。与电位计相似,随着沿柱塞长度进行更远的测量,将具有不同的电阻值。换句话说,电阻将随电流必须经过的距离而增加。

[0064] 线性反馈的使用具有许多优点。使用线性反馈的一个优点是,驱动电路可以以较高的精确度“伺服”柱塞或控制柱塞的位置或行程。因此,部分柱塞行程可用于给出更精细的剂量输送,并且所述剂量可为泵缸容积的任意分数。通过测量和控制柱塞移动可变尺寸而不是仅测量和控制离散(不连续,discrete)容积,可分配剂量。另外,不仅可在不理想时(如泵700中)检测部分柱塞行程,而且还可测量部分行程的容积并将其与预期容积相比较,由此增加了故障解决办法。例如,如果认为发生了完整行程并输送了一定容积,则系统可检测出泵送了少于期望的量并补偿缺少的量或通过报告的误差的测量值来显示故障状态。具有位置检测和控制的泵比不具有位置检测和控制的泵具有更大的容错性。例如,如果出于某种原因而难以获得完整行程范围的某一部分的话,泵可控制该行程而仅使用可得到的范围。这能够在泵上提供无法估价的额外操作时间,否则,泵会是故障的或不起作用的泵。对于必须具有胰岛素的糖尿病患者来说,该时间的价值是性命攸关的。

[0065] 充注、容错、和伺服控制

[0066] 对于基本泵设计的另一项改进是作为整个泵送系统的操作的指示而不仅仅是柱塞的适当功能的指示来监控反馈。图IlA示出了“充注”之前的泵,其中在通向患者的泵送系统中存在空气,所述泵送系统包括管和输液装置(连接于使用者的部分,在该部分处胰岛素被输送到使用者的组织)。

[0067] 以泵900为例,尽管在其它实施例(诸如泵700)中的应用也是可行的,如图9A所示,在t = 0时刻(初始时刻参考值),泵900被启动(如果有的话V-908开关被启用并且电力通过驱动电路1000被施加给V+907触点)。在t = I时刻,柱塞904开始移动并且PLUNGER-NC 910从逻辑“0”向逻辑“I”改变状态以表示柱塞904移动。在t = 2时刻,柱塞904启动PLUNGER-N0 909触点,PLUNGER-N0 909触点从逻辑“I”向逻辑“0”改变状态以表示柱塞904已实现了完整的向上行程,如图9B所示。这使得经由反馈(FB-NO)通过驱动电路1000去除电力,并且紧接着,柱塞开始落下并且PLUNGER-N0 909触点从逻辑“0”返回逻辑“I”改变状态,如驱动电路1000反馈所确定的那样。在t = 3时刻,柱塞904已完成了完整的泵循环并且PLUNGER-NC 910从逻辑“I”返回逻辑“0”改变状态以表示完整泵循环的完成,如图9A中再次示出(这时,如果有的话V-908串联电力开关是不能用的,以防止由于噪音或其它系统误差导致的可能的泵“失灵”)。数字式反馈提供了简单清楚的故障显不。 [0068] 在图IlB中示出了相同的循环,其中泵送系统处于完全充注状态并与图IlA中所示的未充注状态相比较操作。图IlA中从t = I至t = 2的时间比图IlB中的短,因为泵900、特别是柱塞904从容器中抽出与胰岛素成比例的空气。这可归因于其中从系统中清除空气的初始充注或归因于容器故障。相似地,图IlA中从t = 2至t = 3的时间比图IlB中的短,因为泵900、特别是柱塞904通过管和输液装置推出与胰岛素成比例的空气。事实上,从t = 2至t = 3的时间可用于检测已准备好插入的完全充注的泵。如果管或输液装置在插入之后损坏的话,则从t = 2至t = 3的时间将减少并可将检测出故障。这种现象与在汽车上的液压刹车管线中具有空气的影响相似,其中由于空气相对于流体的可压缩性而使得闸感觉到柔软。对泵进行充注与使闸“放液卸压(bleed)”相似。当泵被充注时耗费更多能量来推动流体通过管和输液装置。当胰岛素被推入到使用者身体(组织)中时该应力更加增大。由于柱塞904由柱塞弹簧906驱动,因此额外力变得与时间相关,并在从t =2至t = 3时被测量。

[0069] 事实上,上述充注技术可用于在微处理器150A的控制下自动地充注泵。胜于使使用者人工地充注泵并且当流体(诸如胰岛素)开始从输液装置(未示出)的尖端冒出时停止充注泵,泵可使用上述反馈自动地充注泵并可选地请求使用者确定充注完成。充注可包括整个输液装置或泵的其它附件,不只包含泵本身。这种增强对于年纪小的泵使用者和视力减退或视力不佳的人来说是尤为重要的。那些使用者可依赖自动充注并可通过在液体排出待充注的终点时感觉液体而(可选地)确定充注。

[0070] 该自动充注技术也以与其它泵送系统相似的方式应用。例如,在具有步进电机的注射泵系统上,当监控时供给到电机的电力为以与柱塞弹簧906所做的功相似的方式由电机所做的功的显示。该功将由用于测量电机电流的分流电阻器监控,或者可选地电池或电源中的下降将被监控以指示出电机所使用的电力以及泵所做的功。

[0071] 图IlC示出了输入阻塞(在时间上从t = I增加至t = 2)和输出阻塞(在时间上从t = 2增加至t = 3)的发生和检测。该系统优选说明电路改变和电池电压下降,因此这些条件被错误地解释为输入或输出阻塞。

[0072] 柱塞或活塞的驱动可被改进或伺服控制,以使泵更有效地操作并减小泵上的应力。这将实现了具有提高的可靠性的更小和更轻的泵。

[0073] 图12A是示出了随时间变化的泵的操作的图表。图12A中的时刻对应于图IlB中所示的时刻。如线性反馈信号911所示,位置的改变率随时间的过去而增加,直到在t = 2时刻活塞到达其行程的顶部。在活塞碰撞硬止挡部时这会产生较大应力。

[0074] 图12B是示出了随时间变化的泵的操作,其中活塞运动被调整以便于在其碰撞硬止挡部之前降低活塞的加速度和速度。这将减小泵的所有移动部遭遇的应力量。在t =0. 5时刻,来自于驱动电路1000的电力被减小以降低t = 2时刻的应力(冲击)。这可包括施加到形状记忆元件的电位的脉宽调制(PWM)。例如,PWM率可被调节为新值或每隔一特定曲线而改变。通过增加临时的小的能量脉冲,对于活塞动作的相似改进可改变导向t =3的曲线,从而减慢柱塞904的下降。

[0075] 尽管已参照其示例性实施例描述了本发明的各个方面,但应该理解的是,本发明 有权在所附权利要求的所有范围内受到保护。

Claims (26)

1. 一种泵送系统,包括: 壳体; 所述壳体中的柱塞; 所述壳体中的形状记忆元件,当电流流过所述元件时, 所述元件改变长度, 所述元件使得所述柱塞在第一和第二物理限制之间移动,以使得当所述柱塞处于第一物理限制处时所述壳体充满液体,而当所述柱塞处于第二物理限制时所述壳体基本排出液体; 第一物理限制处的第一开关,用来指示所述柱塞是否处在第一物理限制处;以及 电路,如果所述柱塞未处于第一或第二物理限制处,所述电路用于检测泵故障。
2.根据权利要求I所述的泵送系统,进一步包括第二物理限制处的第二开关,用来指示所述柱塞是否处于第二物理限制处。
3.根据权利要求2所述的泵送系统,其中,所述电路感测所述第一和第二开关的状态。
4. 一种分配液体的方法,包括: 通过使形状记忆材料收缩并移动柱塞,将液体吸入到泵送壳体中; 通过使形状记忆材料放松并移动所述柱塞,将液体从所述泵送壳体中排出; 监控所述柱塞的位置;以及 基于所监控的位置控制所述柱塞的位置。
5.根据权利要求4所述的方法,其中,监控所述柱塞的位置包括感测一个或多个开关的状态,所述开关根据所述柱塞的位置被选择性地启动。
6.根据权利要求4所述的方法,其中,监控所述柱塞的位置包括利用设在所述柱塞上的编码标记。
7.根据权利要求4所述的方法,其中,监控所述柱塞的位置包括测量磁场的强度。
8.根据权利要求4所述的方法,其中,监控所述柱塞的位置包括测量静止导电元件与随所述柱塞移动的导电元件之间的电容。
9. 一种液压泵,包括: 壳体; 所述壳体中的柱塞; 驱动所述柱塞的形状记忆元件; 行程长度,其等于所述柱塞的泵送表面最大行进距离; 位置感测机构,其感测所述柱塞的位置;以及 包括线性反馈机构的定位系统,其中所述定位系统以小于所述行程长度的增量移动所述柱塞,导致部分柱塞行程。
10.根据权利要求9所述的泵,其中,所述位置感测机构使用光学编码。
11.根据权利要求9所述的泵,其中,所述位置感测机构使用导电编码。
12.根据权利要求9所述的泵,其中,所述位置感测机构包括磁性传感器。
13.根据权利要求9所述的泵,其中,所述位置感测机构测量静止导电元件与随所述柱塞移动的导电元件之间的电容。
14. 一种泵,包括:具有最大容积的壳体; 致动器,包括使柱塞移动的形状记忆合金,所述柱塞从所述壳体中排出液体;以及控制系统,其利用线性反馈来感测所述致动器的位置,并且来操纵所述致动器以提供小于最大容积的可变体积的剂量。
15.根据权利要求14所述的泵,其中,所述控制系统包括微处理器。
16.根据权利要求14所述的泵,其中,所述控制系统包括用于位置检测的装置。
17.根据权利要求14所述的泵,其中,所述控制系统判定所述泵是否已被充注。
18.根据权利要求17所述的泵,其中,如果所述泵未被充注,则所述控制系统产生警生口 o
19. 一种泵,包括: 形状记忆合金; 连接于所述形状记忆合金的柱塞,所述柱塞具有行程长度; 用于感测所述柱塞在所述柱塞行程的任意点处的精确位置的装置;以及用于通过改变所述形状记忆合金的长度而控制所述柱塞的位置的装置,所述用于控制的装置能够将所述柱塞定位在所述柱塞行程的任意点处,从而使所述泵能够泵送可变剂量大小的液体。
20. 一种分配液体的方法,包括: 提供连接于形状记忆元件的柱塞; 向所述形状记忆元件提供电势以改变所述元件的长度; 监控所述柱塞的位置;以及 基于所监控的位置调节施加于所述形状记忆元件的电势以移动所述柱塞并分配液体。
21.根据权利要求20所述的方法,其中,提供电势包括施加电势的脉冲,并且调节所述电势包括调整所施加的脉冲的宽度。
22.根据权利要求20所述的方法,其中,监控所述位置包括读取不连续的位置指示器。
23.根据权利要求21所述的方法,其中,监控所述位置包括测量模拟传感器的可变输出。
24. 一种泵送液体的方法,包括: 向形状记忆合金施加至少一个电脉冲以移动柱塞; 检测所述形状记忆合金的应力状态;以及 如果检测到所述应力状态,修正所述至少一个脉冲。
25.根据权利要求24的方法,进一步包括: 检查阻塞;以及 如果检测到阻塞,修正所述至少一个脉冲。
26. —种泵送系统,包括: 壳体; 所述壳体中的柱塞; 所述壳体中的形状记忆元件,当电流流过所述元件时, 所述元件改变长度, 所述元件使所述柱塞在第一和第二物理限制之间移动,以使得当所述柱塞处于第一物理限制时所述壳体充满液体,而当所述柱塞处于第二物理限制时所述壳体基本排出液体;以及连接于所述形状 记忆元件的过载活塞,所述过载活塞移动以适应所述形状记忆元件的改变并减小所述泵送系统上的应力。
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