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Nanotechnology – The Smart Insulin Patch – By Kelly Dawes

On January 23, 2020, I attended a seminar for Nanotechnology and Materials-based Immunotherapeutic Approaches to Diabetes and Cancer (whoa! Say that 10x fast!). I want to share what was discussed, as it is PROGRESS!


Researchers are working with bioresponsive drug delivery systems. They’ve completed animal trials with favorable outcomes.


In the works (diabetes related):

  • Smart glucagon patches to respond to hypoglycemia
  • Smart synthetic/artificial beta cell patches
  • Smart insulin patches The Smart Insulin Patch has done well!  The presenter, Dr. Zhen Gu, Ph.D. Professor of Bioengineering UCLA said “It is making big progress now.” He also mentioned that they are working on loading more insulin into the patch. Dr. Gu said that these are easy to manufacture.

The Smart Insulin Patch is a quarter-sized patch. In trials, it could regulate blood glucose in T1D pigs for 24 hours. YES! Not mice, pigs, larger animals. A good sign!

The patch is a disposable design, and usage can be stopped at any time. Currently in clinical trials with patent pending.

Do they pair with a CGM? Nope! The patches truly are SMART. When worn, they can detect blood sugar levels. They dose accordingly. How? By reading pH levels. Our pH levels go up & down with blood sugar levels.


Here is more info from the Smart Patch company’s website:

A painless microneedle-array patch and glucose-responsive insulin release formulation, provides an artificial pancreas-like delivery system that is able to “secrete” insulin in response to elevated blood glucose. This smart patch can sense increased blood sugar level and subsequently release insulin in a glucose-responsive and fast manner.


-Responds fast

-Easy to use, minimal patient effort

-Reduces risk of hypoglycemia

-Painless- no need to draw blood


Dr. Gu spoke of other patches which included some specific cancer treatment patches.  As a “Diabetesaurus” who injected pork insulin & survived without blood sugar meters, I’m in awe of the progress being made to improve the quality of life for T1D’s.

I’m thankful for these researchers. They bring hope to our T1D community.



To learn more, visit Zenomics


Kelly Dawes has lived with T1D for 39 years. A Health Fitness Specialist, Consultant, Diabetic Educator who manufactures home fitness products.

Her websites are: and

You can join Kelly’s facebook group – here


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