Emerging nano- and micro-technologies used in the treatment of type-1 diabetes

Rosita Primavera, Bhavesh D. Kevadiya, Ganesh Swaminathan, Rudilyn Joyce Wilson, Angelo De Pascale, Paolo Decuzzi, Avnesh S. Thakor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Type-1 diabetes is characterized by high blood glucose levels due to a failure of insulin secretion from beta cells within pancreatic islets. Current treatment strategies consist of multiple, daily injections of insulin or transplantation of either the whole pancreas or isolated pancreatic islets. While there are different forms of insulin with tunable pharmacokinetics (fast, intermediate, and long-acting), improper dosing continues to be a major limitation often leading to complications resulting from hyper- or hypo-glycemia. Glucose-responsive insulin delivery systems, consisting of a glucose sensor connected to an insulin infusion pump, have improved dosing but they still suffer from inaccurate feedback, biofouling and poor patient compliance. Islet transplantation is a promising strategy but requires multiple donors per patient and post-transplantation islet survival is impaired by inflammation and suboptimal revascularization. This review discusses how nano- and micro-technologies, as well as tissue engineering approaches, can overcome many of these challenges and help contribute to an artificial pancreas-like system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number789
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Diabetes
  • Glucose sensor
  • Microparticles
  • Nanoparticles
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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