A systematic study of a roller infusion pump, designed for slow intra-arterial fluid infusion to newborn infants, has shown that air bubbles infiltrate the fluid in sufficient amounts to present a danger of embolism. The air source was the elastic pumping element fabricated from silicone rubber, a material well known for its high permeability to air. Alternate stretching and relaxation of the element as the rollers rotate result in periodic pressure-vacuum effects that promote air leakage through the element wall. Several solutions to the problem are proposed.
Hannemann RE, Barile RG. Bubble Formation in the Roller Infusion Pump. Am J Dis Child. 1973;125(5):706–708. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.04160050060011