EU_emblemThis project has received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 645991.


DRIVE Project - Reversing diabetes with smart living implants

DRIVE is a European research programme with 14 academic, clinical and industrial partners across 7 EU countries, which is Coordinated by the Duffy Kelly Lab at RCSI. One of the most effective treatments for Type 1 diabetes is pancreatic islet transplantation, where islets of Langerhans are isolated from a donor pancreas, purified and infused into the liver of a patient with Type 1 diabetes to reverse diabetes. However, due to limited availability of donor pancreases and adverse side effects associated with the necessary lifelong systemic immunosuppressive drug regime, this therapy is currently limited to only the most at risk Type 1 diabetes patients, whose life-threatening recurrent hypoglycaemic unawareness (frequent low blood sugar episodes without warning) outweigh the associated risks.

DRIVE aims to overcome these problems through the development of smart biomaterial technologies and minimally-invasive medical devices to maximise the survival and function of pancreatic islets and reduce the associated side effects of this therapy.

More information is available on the DRIVE project website


The DRIVE project's ß-Gel technology: pancreatic islets are encapsulated in a pancreo-mimetic hydrogel (ß-Gel), which contains pancreatic extracellular matrix proteins and oxygen precursors to aid early islet engraftment while revascularisation occurs.

What causes diabetes and how can DRIVE help?

Watch this outreach presentation by Duffy Kelly Labs Dr Liam Burke to find out...


Latest DRIVE news

Duffy Kelly Lab's researchers demonstrated the DRIVE and AMCARE projects to the tech-savvy attendees of Inspirefest 2016 in Dublin.

inspirefest_drive inspirefest_amcare