The Swiss medical device specialists at Debiotech and STMicroelectronics have announced the first "evaluation prototypes" of the unique "highly miniaturized disposable insulin pump" they've been working on for several years.  As you can see, it's literally the size of a credit card.  I wrote about it last spring, lamenting that these things always take ages to make it to market.

Well, it seems they've "moved a step closer to market availability" this week with the unveiling of working prototypes now ready for mass production.  Cool!

From the press release:

"The tiny device can be mounted on a disposable skin patch to provide continuous insulin infusion, enabling substantial advancements in the availability, treatment efficiency and the quality of life of diabetes patients. The breakthrough Nanopump, which relies on microfluidic MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) technology, has successfully passed initial testing stages and is now ready to enter volume manufacturing."

Of particular note from the company's materials (see my emphasis in italics):

"Microfluidic technology also provides better control of the administered insulin doses, more closely mimicking the natural secretion of insulin from the pancreas, while detecting potential malfunctions of the pump to further protect patients...

"Each pump actuation injects only 200 nanoliters of drug, and reproducibility is better than 2%, bringing it very close to physiological delivery of insulin.  This precise control may also allow the use of more concentrated insulin, once available on the market. It should also extend the use of pumps for children who have low needs of insulin..."

"As a disposable device, manufactured using high-volume semiconductor processing technologies, the MEMS-based Nanopump is also much more affordable... Unlike other insulin pumps, the Insulin Nanopumpâ„¢ does not require any substantial financial investment upfront...."

"Its design with a permanent part containing the electronics and a disposable part containing the reservoir and the pumping mechanism, makes it affordable and attractive for every patient."

I wonder how much longer till we can get even more details (like actual price) and get our hands on some units for the community to test drive?

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This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.