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
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
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.