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research-article

Towards dosing precision and insulin stability in an artificial pancreas system

[+] Author and Article Information
Veronica Iacovacci

The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Viale R. Piaggio 34, 56025 Pontedera (Pisa), Italy
veronica.iacovacci@santannapisa.it

Izadyar Tamadon

The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Viale R. Piaggio 34, 56025 Pontedera (Pisa), Italy
i.tamadon@santannapisa.it

Matteo Rocchi

The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Viale R. Piaggio 34, 56025 Pontedera (Pisa), Italy
matteorocchi88@gmail.com

Paolo Dario

The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Viale R. Piaggio 34, 56025 Pontedera (Pisa), Italy
paolo.dario@santannapisa.it

Arianna Menciassi

The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Viale R. Piaggio 34, 56025 Pontedera (Pisa), Italy
arianna.menciassi@santannapisa.it

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042459 History: Received September 24, 2018; Revised December 19, 2018

Abstract

AA fully implantable artificial pancreas still represents the holy grail for diabetes treatment. The quest for efficient miniaturized implantable insulin pumps, able to accurately regulate blood glucose profile and to keep insulin stability, is still persistent. This work describes the design and testing of a microinjection system connected to a variable volume insulin reservoir devised to favor insulin stability during storage. The design, the constitutive materials and the related fabrication techniques were selected to favor insulin stability by avoiding - or at least limiting - hormone aggregation. We compared substrates made of Nylon 6 and Teflon, provided with different surface roughness due to the employed fabrication procedures (i.e. standard machining and spray deposition). We found that Nylon 6 guarantees a higher insulin stability than Teflon and that, independently on the material used, larger roughness determine a higher amount of insulin aggregates. A dedicated rotary pump featured by a 1µL delivery resolution was developed and connected through a proper gear mechanism to a variable volume air-tight insulin reservoir. The microinjection system was able to operate also in reverse mode to enable the refilling of the implanted reservoir. Insulin stability was tested in a worse case condition for 14 days, and pumping system reliability and repeatability in dosing were successfully tested over an entire reservoir emptying cycle. The developed system represents a fundamental building block towards the development of a fully implantable artificial pancreas and could be advantageously integrated even in different implantable drug delivery apparatus (e.g. for pain management).

Copyright (c) 2019 by ASME
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