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ST, Debiotech ready MEMS-based insulin delivery

Posted: 27 Apr 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:MEMS  insulin delivery pump  STMicroelectronics  nanopump 

STMicroelectronics announced a strategic cooperation agreement with Debiotech S.A. to manufacture and market a miniaturised insulin-delivery pump. The microfluidic MEMS-based Nanopump allows a tiny pump to be mounted on a disposable skin patch to provide continuous insulin infusion.

"ST's focus on applying its semiconductor manufacturing processes and experience in microfluidic biotech applications affords us the potential to improve lives of millions of people around the world," said Anton Hofmeister, Group VP and General Manager of ST's Microfluidic Division. "Working with Debiotech we are committed to the industrialisation of the insulin Nanopump that aspires to push the boundaries of diabetes treatment."

"This collaboration with ST represents a major step in manufacturing of the Nanopump to make it available to a broad market at a cost compatible with a disposable use." said Frederic Neftel, MD, President and CEO of Debiotech SA.

The miniaturised disposable insulin pump combines Debiotech's insulin delivery skill with ST's high-volume silicon-based microfluidic devices. Microfluidic technology electronically controls the flow of small amounts of fluids. The Nanopump is able to control delivery at the nanolitre level, close to the physiological delivery of insulin. The MEMS device is about one quarter the size of existing pumps and can be worn as a nearly invisible patch on the skin.

This pump represents a step in the development and adoption of Continuous Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion (CSII) therapy through which the patient is connected to a programmable pump attached to a storage reservoir, from which insulin is infused into the tissue under the skin. The technology will also find applications in many other biomedical applications.

Debiotech will commercialise the product through its licences with major players in the medical device market. Other bio-tech programs within ST's Microfluidic Division include the In-Check lab-on-chip platform, currently being applied to the detection of sepsis and Avian flu.

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