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.
·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
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.
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: