Artificial pancreas on display at Medica

28 October 2011

Renfrew Group International will be displaying a prototype articificial pancreas at Medica. Developed by a team at De Montfort University, the implantable device automatically releases the correct amount of insulin into the body in response to varying blood sugar levels.

The artificial pancreas is currently undergoing pre-clinical trials. Renfrew Group International has been instrumental in developing the device and its associated hardware systems.

Glucose levels are normally controlled by the hormone insulin, which is released by the pancreas when required. People who have diabetes either do not produce insulin, produce insufficient insulin or the insulin they do produce does not work properly. The condition affects millions of people across the world.

In the current device a reservoir of insulin and a glucose sensitive polymeric gel barrier (invented and patented by Professor Joan Taylor of De Montfort University) act to maintain blood sugar levels. When these levels in the body rise, the polymeric gel matrix liquifies and releases insulin. This then enters the blood vessels in the peritoneal tissue and onwards to the liver, thus mimicking the normal process for a person with a healthy pancreas.

The artificial pancreas
The artificial pancreas

Renfrew Group International’s involvement in the project dates back to July 2007 when De Montfort University approached the company on behalf of Professor Taylor for assistance with design and engineering support. The implantable metering device was in early stage studies with rat subjects and showing remarkable robustness and dosing accuracy.


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