High-efficiency Voice-Coil Motors
Voice coil motors are fast, simple, and robust linear actuators that until now have offered only modest force capability which has limited their biomedical applications. In this platform we are developing new designs for these actuators and their controllers that allow extremely high forces to be applied for a short period of time, suited to a wider range of tasks that includes drug delivery. Our goal is to develop new applications for these actuators in medical devices, to develop new strategies for their design optimization suited to medical applications, and to refine and enhance the control strategies used to ensure their robust and reliable performance.
To date, we have developed new analytical modelling techniques for simple, low-cost voice coil actuators that may also be applied to a wide variety of actuator designs. We have also discovered a scaling law for these actuators when used for needle-free jet injection, which allows for the simultaneous optimization of the actuator size and the energy storage system. This has been used to design a miniaturized injector for the delivery of small drug volumes.