Insulin Infusion Cannulas with Superior Performance

Tech ID: 31991 / UC Case 2019-206-0

Brief Description

Researchers at UCI have developed the application of a biocompatible material to insulin infusion devices for Type 1 Diabetes to improve device strength, reduce scar tissue buildup, and increase the efficiency of insulin delivery.

Suggested uses

·Infusion of insulin for Type 1 Diabetes management

·Subcutaneous drug delivery


·Increased structural support of device, protecting against kinking

·Multiple drug delivery routes, relieving pressure at infusion site

·Increased tissue integration, improving drug delivery efficiency and slowing scar tissue buildup

·Material fabrication is simple, inexpensive, customizable, and scalable

Full Description

Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that affects approximately 1.25 million people in the United States. Improper dosage of insulin in T1D patients results in dysregulated blood-glucose levels (hyper- or hypoglycemia) resulting in headaches, seizures, comas, or death. Approximately 1 million T1D patients manage their disease via continuous under-the-skin (subcutaneous) insulin infusion pumps. Despite widespread use, these devices face significant challenges. Current infusion pumps suffer from scar tissue build-up after multiple insertions (foreign body response, FBR) and kinking of the subcutaneous tubing (the cannula), both of which impede the delivery of insulin to the patient.

Researchers at UCI have addressed these issues by applying a biocompatible polymer material to infusion devices that delays FBR, reinforces the cannula, and slows down scar tissue buildup from repeated insertions. Features of the material include scalable manufacturing and a sponge-like structure of interconnected channels that strengthens the cannula against kinking, creates multiple drug delivery routes, and generates a labyrinth for host cells responsible for FBR. Strategic placing of the material in the device cannula promotes tissue integration through blood vessel growth (vascularization) and increases the area for drug absorption. Researchers are currently conducting experiments to improve the efficiency of subcutaneous drug delivery and lifetime of these infusion devices.

State Of Development

Working prototype has been developed. Preliminary studies demonstrate that the material’s pore structure permits flow at the rate of standard commercial devices and increases the angle tolerated by cannula before kinking.

Next steps include:

  • Investigating new polymer combinations and methods to chemically bond material to cannula
  • Creating a prototype for in vivo studies and testing prototype for effectiveness of insulin infusion (pharmacokinetics) versus current commercial units

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20210252196 08/09/2021 2019-206

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