Syringe driver

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A syringe pump for laboratory use. World Precision Instruments (WPI) SP120PZ.

A syringe driver or syringe pump is a small infusion pump (some include infuse and withdraw capability), used to gradually administer small amounts of fluid (with or without medication) to a patient or for use in chemical and biomedical research.

The most popular use of syringe drivers is in palliative care, to continuously administer analgesics (painkillers), antiemetics (medication to suppress nausea and vomiting) and other drugs. This prevents periods during which medication levels in the blood are too high or too low, and avoids the use of multiple tablets (especially in people who have difficulty swallowing). As the medication is administered subcutaneously, the area for administration is practically limitless, although edema may interfere with the action of some drugs.

Programmable syringe pump with precise flow rates without pulsation

Syringe drivers are also useful for delivering IV medications over several minutes. In the case of a medication which should be slowly pushed in over the course of several minutes, this device saves staff time and reduces errors.

Syringe pumps are also useful in microfluidic applications, such as microreactor design and testing, and also in chemistry for slow incorporation of a fixed volume of fluid into a solution. In enzyme kinetics syringe drivers can be used to observe rapid kinetics as part of a stopped flow apparatus.[1] They are also sometimes used as laboratory media dispensers.


Syringe pumps have historically been expensive devices ranging from $250 to $5000. In 2014, an open source hardware project released the designs for a 3D printable open-source syringe pump that costs $50.[2] Gizmodo speculated this could result in reduced medical costs [3] and Motherboard thought the same would be true for the costs of scientific research.[4] This is consistent with the cost reductions found in other open source lab equipment.


  1. ^ Fersht, Alan (1985). Enzyme structure and mechanism. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman. p. 123. ISBN 0-7167-1614-3. 
  2. ^ Bas Wijnen, Emily J. Hunt, Gerald C. Anzalone, Joshua M. Pearce, 2014. Open-source Syringe Pump Library, PLoS ONE 9(9): e107216. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107216 open access
  3. ^ Doctors Could 3D Print Their Own Tools For a Fraction of the Cost - Gizmodo
  4. ^ 3D Printed Syringe Pumps are Perfect for Cash Strapped Scientists - Motherboard