By Andrew Liszewski
This is promising news for anyone with diabetes who has to deal with daily insulin shots. Swiss-based Debiotech is teaming up with the French/Italian company STMicroelectronics to bring this ridiculously small insulin pump to the market.
The nanopump relies on microfluidic micro-electro-mechanical system (or MEMS) technology and can be mounted on a disposable skin patch to provide a continuous insulin infusion throughout the day. This insulin pump therapy also known as continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (or CSII) injects the insulin into the tissue directly under the skin where it is then distributed throughout the body. Besides the lack of needles the other advantage to this continuous delivery of insulin is that it better mimics the pancreas’ natural secretion.
In comparison the insulin pumps used today are about the size of a pager and need to be carefully held in place which makes them difficult to hide. The new pumps will be about a quarter of that size and completely self-contained in an almost invisible patch.