DMU logo

'Bionic man' with DMU's artificial pancreas makes headlines around the world


Rex at the Science Museum

The 'bionic man' with an artificial pancreas created by DMU is making headlines around the world.

Called Rex, the bionic man wowed an audience of news media at the London Science Museum today (Tuesday 5 February).

He will be on display at the museum to show how technological research can mimic the human body's amazing complexity from Thursday (7 February).

The artificial pancreas created by Professor Joan Taylor's team at DMU in Leicester is among the revolutionary body parts fitted into the incredible humanoid which will also star in a Channel 4 documentary on Thursday (7 February).

Rex was photographed and filmed by scores of journalists at a press launch for the exhibition at the Science Museum and Professor Taylor demonstrated to reporters just how the artificial pancreas works. The pancreas is mentioned in a  news report for Channel 4.

News of Rex and his revolutionary pancreas has already been reported in newspapers and media around the world from the Guardian and Sunday Telegraph to Time magazine and even a news website in Saudi Arabia.

And from 19 to 21 February, Professor Taylor will be at the Science Museum to take part in its Antenna Live interactive demonstrations explaining to visitors how the artificial parts work.

The revolutionary pancreas contains a reservoir of insulin kept in place by a special gel barrier. When glucose levels in the body rise, the gel liquefies and releases the insulin to the liver – mimicking the normal pancreas. As the insulin lowers glucose levels, the gel reacts by hardening again and preserving the reservoir.

It could mean the end of multiple insulin injections for sufferers of Type 1 diabetes – a large proportion of whom are at risk of over or under-medicating with current treatment methods.

A company has now been employed to take the DMU pancreas project to the next stage, to find an industrial partner for pre-clinical trials, and Professor Taylor believes the Channel 4 programme can only help.

Professor Taylor said: "Our pancreas is very different from any other artificial design. They are all electronic and ours deserves this kind of exposure. I'm pretty delighted with how things have gone."

The documentary How to Build a Bionic Man, made by Darlow Smithson Productions, is due to be broadcast on Channel 4 from 9pm on Thursday 7 February.

As well as the Channel 4 broadcast, a longer version of the documentary is being produced for the Smithsonian Channel in the USA later this year, to coincide with the humanoid body going on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.


Posted on Tuesday 5th February 2013

Search news archive

DMU open days
News target area image

DMU is a dynamic university, read about what we have been up to in our latest news section.

Events target area image

At DMU there is always something to do or see, check out our events for yourself.

Mission and vision target area image
Mission and vision

Read about our mission and vision and how these create a supportive and exciting learning environment.