A revolutionary new plaster could help diabetics

A revolutionary plaster developed in the UK could mean an end to the daily grind of injections suffered by diabetics.

The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) has given US$220,000 to researchers working on the new plaster, which contains a tiny pump to deliver insulin or other drugs.

The plaster, being developed by Swansea-based Starbridge Systems, is worn on the skin and lets patients carry and receive a three-day supply of insulin anywhere on their body.

Starbridge Systems drew inspiration from nicotine patches, which release the tobacco ingredient slowly into the bloodstream through the skin. This method can now be also used to treat conditions needing more carefully controlled and precise delivery.

Current insulin pumps are on the belt and deliver insulin through a catheter into the skin, they can be cumbersome and unreliable.

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