The Artificial Pancreas: Injectable Hydrogel Secretes Insulin Based on Biological Triggers

Willner Itamar, HUJI, Faculty of Science, The Institute of Chemistry
Nechushtai Rachel, HUJI, Faculty of Science, The Alexander Silberman Institute for Life Sciences

According to the World Health Organization approximately 422 million people currently suffer from diabetes. Type-I diabetes patients are characterized by their pancreas β-cells dysfunction and thereby absence of insulin secretion. Patients that suffer from the highly abundant Type-II diabetes have similar issues with their pancreas.

The Need

Many anti-diabetes drugs and delivery devices are prone to inaccurate correlations between real-time glucose concentrations and the quantity of drugs administered, leading to hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.  Being in a hyper/hypoglycemic states can lead to vomiting, blurred vision, hunger, dehydration and weight changes. Over the long term, more serious conditions can develop like blindness, kidney failure, and nerve damage.

Our Innovation

We have developed an “artificial pancreas” in the form of an injectable hydrogel which contains microcapsules inserted into larger microcapsules. These capsules are injected into the body and will automatically secrete insulin based on a biological trigger.  The autonomous release of insulin based on real time biological triggers, as opposed to device read outs, are expected to eliminate the need for monitoring of glucose levels and prevent the complication triggered by hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.


The proposed solution can be easily adopted by diverse populations worldwide.

Patent Status


Contact for more information:

Ariela Markel
VP, Business Development, Healthcare