How to set up and use an Infusion Pump? 


Introducing the infusion pump, a sophisticated device designed to precisely control the infusion rate of fluids.[1] In laboratory settings, infusion pumps play a critical role in various applications, ranging from drug delivery to intravenous fluid administration. ConductScience’s comprehensive guide aims to demystify the setup and usage of infusion pumps in laboratory and animal environments.

How to Set Up an Infusion Pump

Setting up an infusion pump requires meticulous attention to detail to ensure proper functionality and accuracy in fluid delivery. We’re giving you steps for a seamless setup process:

  1. Choose the Right Location: Select a clean, well-ventilated area free from obstructions where the infusion pump can be easily accessed and monitored.
  2. Power Supply: Ensure a stable power source is available and connect the infusion pump to the appropriate power outlet using the provided power cord.
  3. Priming the Pump: Prime the infusion pump with the fluid to be administered, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This step removes any air from the tubing and ensures smooth fluid delivery.
  4. Tubing Connection: Connect the tubing from the fluid source to the infusion pump, ensuring a secure fit and proper alignment.
  5. Programming: Enter the necessary parameters such as infusion rate, volume to be infused, and any additional settings required for the specific experiment or procedure.
  6. Safety Checks: Perform thorough safety checks to verify the accuracy of settings, tubing connections, and overall functionality of the infusion pump before proceeding with the experiment.

How to Use an Infusion Pump

Once the infusion pump is set up, using it effectively involves understanding its operation and making necessary adjustments as required. ConductScience gives you the guidelines for optimal usage:

  1. Start-Up Procedure: Power on the infusion pump and ensure that all settings are correctly entered and verified.
  3. Animal Preparation: If administering fluids to a living subject or model, ensure proper preparation, including site disinfection and placement of the intravenous catheter.
  4. Initiate Infusion: Start the infusion pump according to the programmed settings, monitoring closely for any signs of discomfort or adverse reactions in the subject.
  5. Monitoring and Adjustment: Continuously monitor the infusion process, including the infusion rate, fluid levels, and patient response. Make adjustments as necessary to maintain the desired infusion parameters.
  6. Alarm Management: Familiarize yourself with the alarm system of the infusion pump and respond promptly to any alerts or alarms, addressing issues such as occlusions, low battery, or air in the tubing.
  7. Documentation: Maintain detailed records of the infusion process, including start and end times, infusion rates, volumes infused, and any observations or interventions made during the procedure.
Figure: The detailed diagram of all parts of a typical volumetric infusion pump.[5]

Things to Know About Infusion Pumps

Understanding the intricacies of infusion pumps is essential for safe and effective use. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Accuracy and Precision: Infusion pumps are designed to deliver fluids with a high degree of accuracy and precision, ensuring consistent dosing and reliable results.
  2. Compatibility: Ensure that the infusion pump is compatible with the fluids and medications being administered, as well as any additional equipment such as syringes or IV sets.[2]
  3. Maintenance: Regular maintenance and calibration are crucial to the proper functioning of infusion pumps, including cleaning, tubing replacement, and performance testing.
  4. Training: Proper training and education are essential for users operating infusion pumps, including understanding the device’s features, troubleshooting common issues, and responding to emergencies.[3]
  5. Regulations: Familiarize yourself with regulatory requirements and guidelines governing the use of infusion pumps in laboratory settings, including standards for safety, labeling, and documentation.[4]

Types of Infusion Pumps

Infusion pumps come in various types, each suited to specific applications and settings. Some common types include:

  1. Volumetric Infusion Pumps: These pumps are designed to deliver fluids at a precise rate over a predetermined period. They are commonly used for continuous infusion of medications, fluids, or solutions in laboratory experiments where accuracy and consistency are crucial. Volumetric infusion pumps ensure precise control over the infusion rate, making them suitable for experiments requiring controlled and steady delivery of fluids.
  2. Syringe Infusion Pumps: Syringe infusion pumps are versatile devices used for delivering fluids in small volumes or at variable rates. They are particularly useful in laboratory experiments where precise control over the volume and rate of fluid delivery is required. Syringe infusion pumps can accommodate various syringe sizes and types, allowing researchers to administer precise doses of medications, reagents, or solutions accurately.
  3. Peristaltic Infusion Pumps: Peristaltic infusion pumps operate by squeezing flexible tubing to create a series of occlusions that propel fluids through the tubing. These pumps offer gentle and accurate fluid delivery, making them suitable for laboratory experiments involving sensitive biological samples or delicate materials. Peristaltic infusion pumps are often preferred for applications where precise control over the flow rate and minimal contamination risk are essential.
  4. Microinfusion Pumps: Microinfusion pumps are specialized devices designed for delivering tiny volumes of fluids with high precision. These pumps are commonly used in laboratory experiments requiring precise microinjections, such as neuroscience research, drug delivery studies, or cellular manipulation techniques. Microinfusion pumps offer exceptional accuracy and control over the infusion rate, allowing researchers to administer minute quantities of substances with minimal disruption to experimental conditions.
  5. Programmable Infusion Pumps: Programmable infusion pumps feature advanced programming capabilities, allowing researchers to customize infusion parameters according to the specific requirements of their experiments. These pumps offer flexibility in setting infusion rates, volumes, and infusion profiles, making them suitable for a wide range of laboratory applications. Programmable infusion pumps are commonly used in research settings where complex infusion protocols or dynamic infusion patterns are necessary.
  6. Ambulatory Infusion Pumps: Ambulatory infusion pumps are portable devices designed for continuous infusion therapy outside traditional medical settings. While primarily used in clinical settings for patient care, ambulatory infusion pumps can also be adapted for laboratory experiments requiring continuous and prolonged fluid delivery. These pumps offer mobility and flexibility, making them suitable for experiments conducted in non-traditional laboratory environments or animal studies requiring long-term infusion protocols.


Infusion pumps are indispensable tools in laboratory environments, offering precise control over fluid delivery for a wide range of experimental applications. By mastering the setup and usage of infusion pumps, researchers can enhance the accuracy, efficiency, and safety of their procedures. However, it’s crucial to remain vigilant, stay informed about advancements in infusion pump technology, and adhere to best practices to ensure optimal outcomes for both patients and experimental subjects.

Have you ever asked yourself what’s the difference between a Syringe and an Infusion Pump? Check out our blog post at to find out!


  1. Smith, J. R., & Jones, A. B. (Eds.). (2020). Infusion Therapy: Techniques and Medications. Springer.
  2. Institute for Safe Medication Practices. (2019). ISMP Guidelines for Optimizing Safe Subcutaneous Insulin Use in Adults.
  3. Food and Drug Administration. (2018). Infusion Pump Improvement Initiative.
  4. Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. (2017). ANSI/AAMI/IEC 60601-2-24:2012/(R)2016, Medical electrical equipment—Part 2-24: Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of infusion pumps and controllers.
  5. “BS EN 60601-2-24: Medical electrical equipment, Particular requirements for the basic safety and essential performance of infusion pumps and controllers”. BSI, 2015.
Picture of  Vanja Antonijevic
Vanja Antonijevic

Vanja works as the Social Media and Academic Program Manager at Conduct Science. With a Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology and Physiology and a Master's degree in Human Molecular Biology, Vanja is dedicated to sharing scientific knowledge on social media platforms. Additionally, Vanja provides direct support to the editorial board at Conduct Science Academic Publishing House.

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