'Circuitless' artificial pancreas one step closer to reality thanks to generosity of the Edith Murphy Foundation

Artifical pancreas

Diabetes sufferers could soon find their lives immeasurably improved as a scientist at De Montfort University (DMU) gets closer to creating the world’s first artificial pancreas.

Professor Joan Taylor has dedicated almost 20 years to building the first artificial pancreas that does not rely on computer circuitry to regulate glucose levels in the body – but instead responds to the needs of the body.

After success in recent clinical trials, Professor Taylor has now received a £200,000 grant from the Edith Murphy Foundation to continue the research. The Professor and her team are now looking for an industrial partner to move the project on to the next stage of pre-clinical trials.

The revolutionary device 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 will mean the end of multiple insulin injections for sufferers of Type 1 diabetes – a large proportion of which are at risk of over or under medicating with current treatment methods.

“We have reached a critical point in the development of a device which could ultimately immeasurably improve  lives.” said Professor Taylor. “This generous donation of £200,000 from the Edith Murphy Foundation will allow the team that has worked so hard on this project to concentrate on finding an industrial partner.

“With this in place, I believe it will only be a matter of time until this device – with no moving parts or batteries - can release diabetic sufferers from the daily chore of insulin injections or pump-operated systems.”

Richard Adkinson, trustee of the Edith Murphy Foundation, added: "We are very proud to be continuing our association with Professor Taylor and her team in this revolutionary work". 

Commercial providers who would be interested in partnering with DMU on the research project are asked to contact Gary Trappitt, DMU Business Development Manager, on (t)0116 207 8968.

Posted on Thursday 29 March 2012

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