The Feinstein Institute said this week it won a $1 million gift from the Knapp Family Foundation to launch a 4-year research program to explore bioelectronic medicine to treat diabetes.
With the grant, the institute will aim to develop an implantable device that will function as an electronic pancreas to regulate diabetes patients’ glucose metabolism without the use of insulin.
“Diabetes impacts our family as it impacts millions of other families around the world, which is why we are passionate in our support of the Feinstein Institute’s innovative and scientific efforts in combating this debilitating condition,” Knapp Family Foundation prez Charles Knapp said in a press release.
A team of researchers from the Feinstein Institute will use “cutting-edge” electronics to analyze and modulate specific neural pathways involved in regulating the body’s glucose levels. The institute said it hopes that neural decoding and data analytics will help deepen the understanding of the nervous system’s role in glucose regulation.
“Current diabetes treatments are expensive and may cause patients to suffer from adverse side effects after chronic use. The new research program will support our development of devices that help the body heal itself, without relying on drugs, but rather on our own nervous system to provide new, safe treatment options for a condition plaguing so many Americans,” Feinstein Institute Center for Bioelectronic Medicine director Chad Bouton said in a prepared statement.
The Feinstein Institute said it will conduct preclinical trials to target both type 1 and type 2 diabetes with the technology.