The microVISC™ viscometer was acquired for use a university research project to determine the efficacy of a hyaluronic acid eye medication (corneal repair drops) used to enhance the natural healing process for corneal ulcers present in horses, dogs and cats. In the double-blind placebo controlled study, it was necessary that the viscosity of the actual medicinal gel and the placebo had the same viscosity. This was a challenge as hyaluronan is a polymer and non-Newtonian by nature making accurate measurements of low volume samples at a specific shear rate a key factor in the validity of the study.
The patented VROC™ technology that powers the microVISC™ is based on a combination of MEMS (Micro-Electrical MechanicalSystems) and microfluidics. The sensor is comprised of a micro-scale precision glass flow channel with MEMS pressure transducers installed within the base. The system measures the pressure drop from the inlet to the outlet as the sample fluid flows through the channel at a controlled rate. The geometry of the flow channel and the pressure drop provide the shear stress and the shear rate is controlled by a syringe pump, quickly providing highly accurate viscosity data with minimal sample for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids.