Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Mosquito Bite Led To Develop A Painfree Insulin Delivery System

Gujarat girl Devina Kothari has developed an interesting device that will make the delivery of insulin virtually pain-free and simpler for diabetics. She has also designed a kit which will enable safe enucleation of the corneas and preserve them up to 96 hours. Here’s more about her amazing innovations.

When we hear the words “insulin injection” we get a picture of a painful process. Diabetic patients, who have been trying to look for an easier way to control the disease for years, finally have a reason to smile. Thanks to Devina Kothari, a young Industrial Designer from IIT-Bombay practicing in Gujarat, who has designed an insulin delivery system which is not only pain-free but also appealing to the eye.

The idea came to her mind when one of her uncles fell ill and could not respond adequately to the treatment due to glucose fluctuation.

After meeting several doctors and patients, researching extensively for eight months and getting a mosquito bite, Kothari was ready with an innovation that could make the procedure of insulin delivery pain-free, simple and closed-loop. 

The device has two main components: one is the monitoring system and the other is a diffusing system. The entire system is closed looped. “Closed loop systems provide feedback of the actual current state and compare it to the desired state in order to adjust the system,” she says.

This monitoring system has a bio sensor which goes inside the body and continuously detects the blood glucose level. Depending upon the current need, it transfers the data into the diffusing unit, which then transcodes it and provides the requisite amount of insulin. The device has an embedded GPS with a microprocessor, LED display and physical connector.

She also researched on micro needles, the idea of which came to her mind after a mosquito bite. The analogy of this led her to the application of the micro-needle array. Kothari made several mock-up models out of paper and plastic before coming up with a final design.

The design has won her the Red Dot Award by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, Essen, Germany. The design rights lie with a drug manufacturing company, Sanofi.

Apart from designing this incredible device, Kothari has been extensively researching on making eye donations simpler and effective in the country. She has designed Cornea Care, a Ophthalmic Enucleation Kit that helps to preserve the usability of the corneas for up to 96 hours. The design reduced the number of instruments in the instrument box from 33 to 8.

Not only medicare, Kothari has also left a mark on grassroot innovations with Urja, a cookstove for people living in rural areas where availability of common combustion fuels like kerosene and LPG is very difficult and increasingly expensive due to inflation.

The design converts the untapped excessive heat energy produced during cooking and boiling of water into electrical energy, using the ‘Seebeck Effect’ and thermophiles. Kothari came up with the idea of this interesting cookstove so that the poor can use the same fertile land to grow food (sugarcane) and utilise the by-product to generate ethanol, which is used as bio-fuel. Ethanol is more eco-friendly and healthier than its contemporaries.

When Kothari is not innovating and experimenting, she enjoys photography and baking. One advice she gives young innovators is to never be scared of failing. 

To know more about her work, please visit her website

Source :

Nadarajan V.

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