Insulin nanopump is disposable

08 July 2008

Miniature insulin delivery pumps can be placed on a skin patch to deliver continuous doses.

The Nanopump has been developed by Debiotech and STMicroelectronics and relies on microfluidic MEMS (mico-electro-mechanical system) to achieve insulin delivery in a unit less than a quarter the size of existing insulin pumps, according to the companies.

It can be worn, nearly invisibly, as a patch on the skin and is disposable. The MEMS-based pump is claimed to be more affordable as it relies on STMicro’s high-volume semiconductor processing. Debiotech supplies the insulin delivery system expertise in the collaboration.

Microfluidic technology controls the administered insulin does, mimicking the natural secretion of insulin from the pancreas, while detecting potential malfunctions of the pump.

Insulin pump therapy, or CSII (continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion) is an alternative to individual insulin injections that are administered several times a day. Instead, the patient is connected to a programmable pump, including a storage reservoir, from which insulin is infused into the tissue under the skin throughout the day, as programmed by the patient.

There are nearly 250m people affected by diabetes worldwide, and this number is expected to grow over the next 10 years. According to ST, the company is reading a piece of silicon as a result of the prototypes which have been proclaimed an important milestone in the industrial production of a new drug delivery service with reliability and convenience and safety for the patient.

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