Space technology powers insulin watch pump

Piezo electric technology originally developed for use in space and employed on the Rosetta satellite produces sufficient electricity to power a novel wristwatch type insulin pump for people with type 1 diabetes


The “COR” has been devised by Nicole Schmiedel, an industrial student at the Braunschweig University of Arts in Germany, and the prototype recently won one of the three Design and Technology Student Awards at this year’s Materialica trade fair in Munich.

The insulin pump is powered by “DuraAct” transducers made by the German company Invent. One would in theory be sufficient to produce the 50 to 100mW required by the pump, but by having four to five transducers round the wristband, it can be powered by movement in any direction. The pump is attached to the user via a thin tube and a needle inserted under the skin to allow the insulin to flow continuously into the body, as an alternative to conventional syringe injections. Schmiedel said that, “COR looks like a watch and not a medical device. When the pump is not in operation, the menu switches to watch mode and displays the current time and date. It also includes an alarm clock”.

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Tom Shelley

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