Small pumps, high performance

Freiburg startup receives around one million Euro under the EXIST Transfer of Research program



Anjan Bhat Kashekodi, Ardavan Shabanian, David Stork und Hans Rainer Stork (from left). Photo: muVaP

Freiburg, Mar 08, 2019

Around one million Euro for “muVaP” (micro-Valves-and-Pumps), which develops high-performance micropumps and microvalves: Freiburg researchers Ardavan Shabanian, Hans Rainer Stork, Anjan Bhat Kashekodi and David Stork are to receive funding from the EXIST Transfer of Research program run by the German government, the European Social Fund and the European Union. The University of Freiburg’s startup office is supporting and advising on the project, which is associated with the Laboratory for the Design of Microsystems at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg. It is one of the biggest EXIST sponsorships ever received by a new University of Freiburg startup in recent years.

The startup develops micropumps which – unlike existing products – also offers valving functionality, enabling the device to work both as a micropump and as a microvalve. Micropumps and microvalves are key elements in microfluidic applications, handling liquids and gases on a very tiny scale. They are used in automotive, aerospace and biotechnology, as well as pharmaceutical, medical and Lab-on-a-Chip applications, which enable the analysis of substances in very small spaces. The pumps have a surface area of a few square centimeters and a thickness of a few millimeters – and they are able to deliver relatively large as well as very tiny dosages of fluids.

The Freiburg researchers develop micropumps and microvalves which are more compact compared to the existing systems, cost less, and are more energy efficient. In addition, the new pumps and valves offer much higher flow rates compared to the already existing technologies. This determines the amount of liquid or gas that can be transported through the device per unit time. One challenge is to deliver the performance in various boundary conditions corresponding to each specific application. Therefore, an important goal is to collaborate closely with business partners to transfer the technology from laboratory to real life applications. According to muVaP, the micropumps and microvalves offer many advantages over the previous models.

The EXIST Transfer of Research program supports outstanding research oriented projects that involve expensive and high-risk resource development in their early stages. The University of Freiburg’s startup office helps university entrepreneurs to apply for funding and provides the required support framework for the startup teams.


Ardavan Shabanian
Department of Microsystems Engineering
University of Freiburg
Phone: 0761/203-67676


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