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What is a Syringe Pump?

Syringe pumps, or syringe drivers, are motorised devices that accurately control the movement of fluid from a syringe by mechanically inserting or retracting the plunger. Syringe pumps feature stepper motors that accurately move the platform attached to the plunger of a syringe. The body of the syringe is held steady to the body of the unit so that the only movement is from the action of the motor.

Basic models can be used for the infusion (and sometimes withdrawal) of liquids at a set rate and are controlled simply by changing the speed of the motor. More sophisticated syringe pumps are equipped with onboard computers, which allow you to program the motion of the stepper motor with multiple steps. Therefore, causing an automatically performed a set sequence.

Want more information about how syringe pumps work? See how do syringe pumps work

Single Syringe Pump

  • Precise
  • Programmable
  • Multiple Modes of Operation

£1900 With Free Shipping

Types of Syringe Pump

There are two main types of syringe pump. These are laboratory syringe pumps and medical syringe pumps.

Medical syringe pumps are a type of infusion pump that use a syringe rather than an intravenous bag. You can use these to administer medication and other fluids in vivo diagnosis, treatment, or other patient care. Medical infusion pumps often come with drug specific pre-sets and pre-programmed hard and soft limits designed to ensure the safety of the patient. Although they are relatively simple devices, as patient safety is a concern, medical professionals must be trained in their use. The main advantage of a medical syringe pump over the manual use of a syringe is that they can administer medication at a steady rate over a long period of time.

Laboratory syringe pumps (also referred to as scientific syringe pumps or research syringe pumps) can move small volumes of liquid with great precision. Some can be programmed to perform complex routines, while others can be controlled using a computer and can also be integrated with other pieces of equipment.These syringe pumps are designed to be versatile and adaptable. You can use them for a wide range of applications covering many fields, including thin film fabrication, mass spectrometry, flow chemistry, microfluidics, and more.

Although they are mechanically similar, laboratory syringe pumps are not interchangeable with those designed for use in vivo. All Ossila products are for laboratory and research and development use only and should not be used on patients.

Types of Laboratory Syringe Pump

Laboratory syringe pumps can also come in two primary types, displacement (volumetric) and pressure-based. These have different control mechanisms and therefore have different ideal applications. These details are summarized below.

Displacement (Volumetric) Syringe Pump Pressure Based Syringe Pump
Other names Volumetric pumps Constant pressure pumps
Flow Rate Control Controls the linear motion of the syringe plunger to deliver precise volumes of fluid Regulates the pressure applied to the syringe plunger to control the flow rate
Often used for Reagent addition, sample injection, or continuous infusion Dispensing viscous fluids, high-pressure requirements, or situations where the system's backpressure may vary.
Cost Affordable Expensive
Use in difficult situations Less Versatile and Durable, easy to use and maintain Very versatile and Durable, harder to use and maintain

Single vs. Dual Syringe Pumps

As the name suggests, a single syringe pump will give you control over one syringe. Dual syringe pumps allow you to control either one or two syringes depending on the mode of operation. Some syringe pumps let you use each pump (whether on a single or dual pump model) to provide a pulsed flow or to continuously infuse or withdraw a liquid.

A single syringe operating in steady and pulsed infusion and extrusion modes.

Single Syringe Pump

  • Precise
  • Programmable
  • Multiple Modes of Operation

£1900 With Free Shipping

While dual syringe pumps do cost more than single pump models, they offer you lots more options for use. For example, having two syringes allows you to precisely mix two different solutions, as shown below. Doing this will give you accurate control over the chemical reactions occurring. You could use it for processes such as microfluidics or to produce emulsions of two immiscible solutions. 

Solution mixing with a dual syringe setup.

When combined with other equipment such as check valves and solvent reservoirs, dual syringe pumps can be used for the continuous pumping of a single solution. Syringe pumps like the Ossila Dual Syringe Pump allow each pump to be controlled independently of the other. This means that they can be used as a single syringe pump if required or, one pump can be set to infuse while the other is in withdrawal mode. In many ways, a good dual syringe pump is like having two single syringe pumps in a single unit.

Dual Syringe Pump

  • Highly Versatile
  • With Two Independently Programmable Pumps

£2400 With Free Shipping

Contributing Authors

Written by

Dr. Jon Griffin

Product Developer

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