An apparatus for calibrating the fluid flow rate down to 3×10-2 ml/h is proposed, based on the volumetric pump working principle. Constant flow rate is assured by means of the constant speed at which the plunger of a laboratory syringe is moved. To test effectiveness of the system, a flow sensor, composed by a differential pressure transducer and a needle was calibrated and afterward utilized for characterizing a clinical drug infusion device. The proposed apparatus showed a full scale (FS) uncertainty approximately equal to 3.5% over a range of 6 ml/h. The calibration range starts at 3×10-2 ml/h with a 1 ml syringe and at 3×10-3 ml/h with a 0.1 ml syringe. The minimum detectable signal (evaluated at 6 dB SNR) was equal to about 1.4×10-2 ml/h by using a syringe of 1 ml. The outcomes of the adopted procedure allowed a characterization of the performance of an infusion pump, without the need of the usual but somewhat cumbersome gravimetric calibration standard. Moreover, some issues about the expected resolution and uncertainty, depending on the characteristics of the system, is also reported.
ASJC Scopus subject areas