Debiotech and ST Microelectronics have showcased their novel insulin ‘Jewel Pump’ at the American Diabetes Association 70th Scientific Sessions conducted recently in Orlando, Florida.
Representing the most advanced use of microfluidic MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology in diabetes treatment, the tiny device, for which FDA clearance is now pending can be mounted on a disposable skin patch to provide continuous insulin infusion, enabling substantial improvement in the treatment efficiency and the quality of life of diabetic patients.
The highly miniaturised disposable insulin pump combines Debiotech’s expertise in insulin delivery systems with ST’s strengths in manufacturing high-volume silicon-based microfluidic devices.
The Jewel Pump is smaller, thinner and lighter than currently available insulin pumps and can be worn as a nearly invisible patch on the skin, while providing 4.5 millilitres of insulin suitable for a 6-day treatment.
Microfluidic technology also provides better control of the administered insulin doses, more closely imitating the natural secretion of insulin from the pancreas while detecting potential malfunctions of the pump to further protect patients.
As a disposable device manufactured using high-volume semiconductor processing technologies, the MEMS-based Jewel Pump is also much more affordable, allowing the patient or the healthcare system to avoid the substantial up-front investment typically associated with current pump solutions.
“The collaboration with ST has produced key contributions to the industrialisation success of this very innovative MEMS technology for the treatment of diabetes,” said Dr. Frédéric Neftel, President and CEO of Debiotech.
“We are now able to demonstrate a real breakthrough in insulin delivery that combines the highest level of reliability and performance, while enhancing the safety for the patient and improving overall Quality of Life.”
Insulin pump therapy or Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII) is an increasingly attractive alternative to individual insulin injections that must be administered several times a day.
With CSII, 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 and night according to the specific needs of the patient.
“The success of the cooperation with Debiotech to bring their visionary concept to a high performance and affordable commercial product underlines the enormous contribution that semiconductor companies can make in the areas of healthcare and well being,” said Benedetto Vigna, Group Vice President and General Manager of ST’s MEMS, Sensor and High Performance Analog Division.