Introduction to Diabetes Technologies
For almost a century, diabetes mellitus has been at the crossroads of various technological innovations. The discovery of insulin (1922) was actually initiating the first therapeutic use of an extracted natural hormone, and this breakthrough was later followed by the first radioimmunological assay for the measurement of a circulating hormone (1960) and then by the first recombinant hormone ever produced (1978). These achievements led to several Nobel Prizes. Interestingly, all these biochemical innovations were later applied to other areas of medicine but were initially designed for the cure of diabetes. This first era of diabetes research ran from the 1920s to the 1970s and can be summarized as the “childhood years” where most of the pathophysiological and therapeutic basic concepts were described and established.