Portable insulin infusion pump, 1980s.
2 7 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 19cm

Portable insulin infusion pump, 1980s.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


A type MS36, battery operated, portable insulin pump, for injecting insulin slowly and continuously into the human body. This mimics the body's own natural slow production of the hormone. Diabetes results from a lack of insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas, which controls blood sugar levels. The discovery that animal insulin could replace mising human insulin, and restore diabetics to health, was made in 1921-1922 by Frederick Banting (1891-1941) and Charles Best (1899-1978).

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