Diabetes Mine 2009 Design Challenge Insulin Test Strips Design Brief

Ben Tuppack

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Diabetes Mine 2009 Design Challenge Insulin Test Strips Design Brief Background: There are a number of types of insulin analogue, each with a different time of onset, peak activity and duration of action. The prescription of insulin therapy for the treatment and maintenance of type I diabetes may be based on personal factors including lifestyle and blood glucose levels and a physician’s preference and experience. The effectiveness of insulin analogue plays a key role in diabetes management, and the avoidance of hypoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic attacks. Unused insulin analogue is generally recommended to be stored at 2 - 8°C (35.6 – 46.4°F), whilst insulin in use can be kept out of the refrigerator for up to one month if kept below 25°C (77°F) (Novo Nordisk, retrieved from http://www.novonordisk.com.au/media/Novo_Storage_Handling_05354.pdf, on 29/04/2009). Design problem: In warmer climates however, storage outside of a refrigerator may not be appropriate, and when an individual travels with insulin analogue, they should ensure that it is kept cool enough to remain viable. Ensuring that insulin analogue has not spoiled can be a difficulty, and using insulin that has become overheated may result in hyperglycaemia, posing risk to the individual. Similarly, using insulin analogue that has become too cool, or has experienced to many fluctuations in temperature may also result impaired effectiveness. Design solution: In order to alleviate this difficulty, testing of insulin analogue could be conducted to ensure that it is still performing effectively. An Insulin Test Strip may be attached to the existing technology of a blood glucose meter (after a control strip has been inserted to calibrate the device). The use of this strip could be considered similar to using a ketone strip. A small quantity of insulin is applied from a pen, syringe, jet or pump onto the test strip reservoir. The reservoir area of the test strip would be treated to react to the insulin analogue, and through the blood glucose meter, provide a result as to whether the insulin is effective or not. To assist in capturing an insulin sample, this reservoir would be slightly concave. This result would be best captured as an OK/NOT response, where the OK response would indicate that the insulin is suitable for use, whilst the NOT response would indicate that the insulin needs to be discarded, and replaced.
Ben Tuppack tuppack@gmail.com

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In order for this to be viable, an acceptable threshold for insulin effectiveness would need to be established to ensure that the test strip would work well for a variety of persons with diabetes. In addition to this, development When using this system, it could help identify whether the insulin is at fault when one is experiencing hyperglycaemia or whether another factor, such as stress or carbohydrate/fat intake has resulted in higher than average blood glucose meter readings.

Insert into blood glucose meter Insulin reservoir

Ben Tuppack tuppack@gmail.com