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DMU's artificial pancreas wins its creators Inventor of the Year award

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Prof Taylor with the artificial pancreas

An artificial pancreas created by a De Montfort University academic that can be implanted into the body and release insulin to help diabetes sufferers has won a top prize.

The device, developed in collaboration with the Renfrew Group International, a medical technology company, won the inaugural Gadget Show Live British Inventor of the Year award.

The artificial pancreas created by Professor Joan Taylor exemplifies the exciting, real-world research which is celebrated and championed at DMU. 

Professor Taylor’s creation aims to ensure that patients will no longer have to endure injections of insulin every day. Human trials are due to begin in 2016 with the first implants taking place on the NHS within a decade.

Professor Taylor, Professor of Pharmaceutics at DMU, said: "This incredible device developed with Renfrew will not only remove the need to manually inject insulin, but will also ensure that perfect doses are administrated each and every time.

“By controlling blood glucose so effectively, we should be able to help reduce related health problems.
“We are close to embarking on clinical trials. Diabetes is costing society more than £1million an hour in treatment, and much of that is spent on treating complications.”

The winning inventors were chosen by Gadget Show Live in collaboration with WIRED magazine with the award presented on 8 April by Gadget Show presenter Jason Bradbury. The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable will visit Gadget Show Live on Friday 11 April to meet them.    

Michael Phillips from Renfrew Group  said: “Renfrew Group and De Montfort University are delighted that the Artificial Pancreas has been given the inaugural Gadget Show Live British Inventors Award.

“The introduction of this award and the British Inventors Project by Gadget Show Live are really valuable platforms for raising the awareness of British innovation and celebrating this country’s talent in this area. 

"The Renfrew Group has been pleased to help develop an innovative gadget with the inventor of the science behind the pancreas, Professor Joan Taylor at De Montfort University. This beautifully simple device now has the potential to benefit millions of lives.”

The device will be surgically implanted into the body and able to release a precise amount of insulin into the bloodstream. Supplies would be topped up every two weeks.

The artificial pancreas will help all Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetics and some suffering Type 2 who need daily injections. The device requires no electronics. This means the risk of rejection by the body is minimised.

Gadget Show Live event director Sally Bent added: “This is the first year that Gadget Show Live has hosted the British Inventors Project and we have been overwhelmed by the quality, diversity and creativity of the 21 finalists who are showcasing their designs at the event over the next five days.”

Posted on Tuesday 8th April 2014

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