Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has received a $1 million gift from the Knapp Family Foundation to launch a four-year research program that uses bioelectronic medicine to treat diabetes.
Feinstein Institute researchers are looking to develop an implantable device that will function as an electronic pancreas, regulating diabetes patients’ glucose metabolism without the use of insulin.
Diabetes patients have abnormal blood glucose levels, which in turn are regulated by drugs or insulin.
“Current diabetes treatments are expensive and may cause patients to suffer from adverse side effects after chronic use,” said Chad Bouton, vice president of advanced engineering for Northwell Health and director of Feinstein’s Center for Bioelectronic Medicine.
“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,” he said. About 29 million Americans, a little less than 10 percent of the population, have some form of diabetes, according to the Feinstein Institute.
The institute will conduct preclinical studies that target both type 1 and type 2 diabetes during development of the new technology.
Feinstein, located in Manhasset, is the research arm of New Hyde Park-based Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York.
The Knapp Foundation, a private family foundation, has supported initiatives at Feinstein and Northwell’s Lenox Hill Hospital since 2012.