Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


The Plaster That Could Change Lives


A new invention that could dramatically change the lives of millions of people administering medication at home, has received investment worth £120,000 from NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) – the organisation that nurtures UK creativity and innovation.

A plaster that can be worn on the skin, containing a tiny pump, could soon be improving the quality of life for those on fertility treatments, or diabetics needing regular insulin.

The pioneering technology is being developed by Swansea-based, Starbridge Systems. They believe their product has huge potential for diabetes care. It comes as diabetes is increasing at epidemic rates across the western world. This next generation micro-pump enables patients to carry and receive a three-day supply of insulin inconspicuously on any part of their body.

“It will release diabetics from the need to use syringes and needles, enabling them to continuously infuse insulin. They’ll be able to lead a normal life!” says Joseph Cefai, chief executive of Starbridge Systems.

The technology has been hailed as “one of the most exciting high-tech, cutting-edge projects to have emerged in Wales in recent years” by Welsh First Minister, Rhodri Morgan. Starbridge Systems has already won the 2002 SMART Wales competition for its micro-fluidic technologies.

The new NESTA award will enable the company to develop a prototype of the device, which they hope could be helping diabetics within the next five years. The illness ranks as the fourth most expensive. In Wales alone, the NHS bill for dealing with issues around diabetes was £255 million in 1999 – or £8 per second.

Current insulin pumps are worn like a pager on a belt, delivering insulin through a catheter into the skin. But they are bulky and the tubing can prove cumbersome, or even get blocked.

Joseph says: “Not only will the pump be small, cheap and effective, it will also be simple to use. This will be particularly beneficial to people who have developed diabetes in later years – those who are old or have poor sight or mobility. And because the pump will allow them to accurately control their insulin doses, they will be able to get back to normal life, eating, sleeping and exercising as they wish.”

Mark White, Director of Invention and Innovation, at NESTA, said: “This invention has the potential to change people’s lives. It’s typical of the kind of innovation that NESTA is keen to nurture and support across the UK.”

Hannah Daws | alfa
Further information:

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>