3D printed Insulin Delivery Units

3D printed Insulin Delivery Units


Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body’s systems. One type of diabetes (Type 1) is cased by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. People with this type of diabetes require daily and calibrated injection or infusion of insulin to lead a normal life.

Type 1 patients will always require injection of insulin. However there are different insulin preparations and delivery systems available. Input of insulin is different from person to person and differ by age and lifestyle. Individuals and families have to train and self-administer the insulin. They have to learn and adjust the insulin dose based upon glucose concentrations and food intake. Insulin administration has been simplified over the years by using insulin pre-filled pens and pumps. However these technologies remain out of reach of most resource poor settings due to cost and lack of access.

Problem Statement

Until there is adequate and uniform access of insulin analogues, patients in resource poor settings are subject to insulin injection devices (pens and pumps) that are scarce and expensive. Needles are often not adapted to children, or small dosages and not easy to gauge for some patients.


To 3D build affordable and accessible insulin injection system that is adaptable to any insulin refill cartridge.


– Cheap to produce and distribute, ideally less than 1 CHF per unit.
– Environmentally friendly – using material which are biodegradable
– Accurate delivery of insulin – abel to grad and administer insulin in 0.1 unit increment
– Easy to use by layman (non-medical) person
– Universal – can accept any type of insulin refill and compatible needles
– Able to pass as a class II medical device and/or ICE 62366 safe usability regulations

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