October 18, 2016

Wayne State University awarded $1.3 million NIH Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Award to increase longevity of insulin treatment implants

DETROIT – Many diabetes patients require continuous or on-demand insulin therapy to manage their disease. Insulin pump therapy offers them more predictable, rapid-acting insulin, providing a more active and normal lifestyle.

Over time, foreign body reaction (FBR) occurs to nearly all devices implanted in the body, resulting in fibrotic tissue depositing around the implant surface, a decrease in blood supply around the implant, and a decrease in the molecular transport to the implant. This results in the need to replace the implant.

A team of Wayne State University researchers are developing a novel material formulation to be applied to the surfaces of most implantable devices that will aid in resisting FBR and improve the long-term use of devices.

The team, led by Zhiqiang Cao, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science in Wayne State’s College of Engineering, received a $1.3 million award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health for the project, “A Novel Formulation Enabling Longevity of Subcutaneous Insulin Infusion.” The Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Award aims to develop a novel formulation as a platform technology that is easily applied on the surfaces of most existing insulin infusion devices prior to being implanted in the patient. The novel formulation will drastically improve the longevity of the insulin infusion implant.

“Zhiqiang was selected as one of a small number of early-stage investigators to receive this prestigious award by demonstrating exceptional creativity and innovation in his proposed research,” said Guangzhao Mao, Ph.D., professor and chair of chemical engineering and materials science at Wayne State. “We expect him to make a major impact on the diabetes research in the years to come.”

“We will identify the mechanism of failure for implanted infusion sets, and then develop a formulation that will prevent the infusion set to have a foreign body reaction,” said Cao. “This will help the patient have normal insulin absorption to aid in managing their diabetes, and less possibility of other problems causing the devices to fail.”

This project will result in a novel formulation that will allow a longer life for commercial infusion sets and patch pumps, as well as glucose sensors. It will have a major impact on managing Type 1 diabetes, and may also impact a broad range of implantation applications beyond diabetes.

The grant award number is DK111910.

About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit research.wayne.edu.


Julie O'Connor
Phone: 313-577-8845
Email: julie.oconnor@wayne.edu

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