Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 179–185

Transdermal power transfer for recharging implanted drug delivery devices via the refill port

  • Allan T. Evans
  • Srinivas Chiravuri
  • Yogesh B. Gianchandani


This paper describes a system for transferring power across a transdermal needle into a smart refill port for recharging implantable drug delivery systems. The device uses a modified 26 gauge (0.46 mm outer diameter) Huber needle with multiple conductive elements designed to couple with mechanical springs in the septum of the refill port of a drug delivery device to form an electrical connection that can sustain the current required to recharge a battery during a reservoir refill session. The needle is fabricated from stainless steel coated with Parylene, and the refill port septum is made from micromachined stainless steel contact springs and polydimethylsiloxane. The device properties were characterized with dry and wet ambient conditions. The needle and port pair had an average contact resistance of less than 2 Ω when mated in either environment. Electrical isolation between the system, the liquid in the needle lumen, and surrounding material has been demonstrated. The device was used to recharge a NiMH battery with currents up to 500 mA with less than 15°C of resistive heating. The system was punctured 100 times to provide preliminary information with regard to device longevity, and exhibited about 1 Ω variation in contact resistance. The results suggest that this needle and refill port system can be used in an implant to enable battery recharging. This allows for smaller batteries to be used and ultimately increases the volume efficiency of an implantable drug delivery device.


Drug delivery Intrathecal Power transfer Implant MEMS 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan T. Evans
    • 1
  • Srinivas Chiravuri
    • 2
  • Yogesh B. Gianchandani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiologyAnn ArborUSA

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