When every drop counts: new calibration capabilities for micro-flow volumes


Microfluidics deals essentially with the behaviour of fluids and gases in extremely small volumes and is used in biotechnology as well as medical and sensor technologies. In the medical field, systems of this type serve primarily for the continuous administration of insulin, hormones or anaesthetics. Medicine pumps are able to administer highly effective medications directly into the body. In order to ensure patient safety, METAS has developed the metrological infrastructure for the calibration of micro-flow volumes.

In METAS’s existing measurement facilities, the Flow Laboratory calibrates medicine pumps, syringe pumps and flow sensors in the following flow rate ranges:

  • 1 mL/min to 100 nL/min with a measurement uncertainty of 0.1% to 0.6%
  • 0.2 mL/min to 400 nL/min with a measurement uncertainty of 0.07
  • Liquids with different viscosity


Pulsating flow

Because drug delivery systems often generate a pulsating rather than constant flow due to motor or pump controls, the measurement facilities were expanded accordingly:

• 1 mL/min to 1 μL/min with a measurement uncertainty of 0.2% to 3% in the instantaneous flow rate

METAS is a partner in the Metrology for Drug Delivery research project.


Further Information

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Beat Jeckelmann Federal Institute of Metrology
Research and Development
Lindenweg 50
CH-3003 Bern-Wabern
+41 58 387 02 97