Prototype Developed for Ultrasonic Patch to Deliver Insulin

MiniMed has made its fortune with an insulin pump that diabetics wear around their waist and that automatically delivers controlled doses of the sugar-regulating substance to the wearer’s bloodstream. It’s a terrific product because it eliminates the need for regular syringe-based injections (though a catheter remains stuck in the patient’s belly all day long.) Combined with the company’s glucose monitor, the product works like a sort of artificial pancreas. As cool as the system is, it still involves a needle breaking skin, which can on occasion lead to infections, not to mention being a real pain. Engineers at Penn State say they’re on the road to a needle-free insulin delivery method that uses a small, ultrasonic patch to get the drug into the wearer’s blood.