The micropumps are capable of moving liquids with particles up to 50 µm. The smaller the particles the less risk of blockage. Depending on the particle material the particle load has influence. The higher the load the higher the risk of blockage. Blood particles are squishy and deformable which is not as problematic as for instance hard glass particles. Fibres are the most problematic particles as they easily get stuck.
If particles clog the pump different effects can be possible:
- Pump rate may go down a bit with particles ladden media (based on liquid experiments), but this doesn’t need to indicate a possible blockage.
- Partly blockage is present if the flow decreases further and does not recover when a media with no particles is pumped.
- Severe blockage is present if flow and pressure generation is very low and cannot be regained.
It may be possible to clean the pump by pumping liquid for some time (TBD). However, if blocking particles can be rinsed out depends on the particles and the liquid as well as the kind of blockage. Fibres are nearly impossible to remove, same applies for very large particles.