A drawing of insulin by David Goodsell, from Wikipedia.

Insulin was isolated and first used to treat diabetes in 1921, one hundred years ago. To celebrate this landmark, I will quote a few paragraphs from the section on blood hormones in Isaac Asimov’s A Short History of Biology.

A Short History of Biology,
by Isaac Asimov.
Charles Best and Frederick Banting, circa 1924, University of Toronto Library, from Wikipedia.

Where does physics, engineering, and technology enter this story? Consider the insulin pump. This modern medical device includes a battery-powered pump, an insulin reservoir, and a cannula and tubing for delivery of the insulin under the skin. It is controlled by a computer the size of a cell phone.

Happy 100th birthday, insulin!

New Heritage Minute: The Discovery of Insulin.
Who is Banting?
Insulin 2021
Insulin Pump

Originally published at http://hobbieroth.blogspot.com.

Professor of Physics at Oakland University and coauthor of the textbook Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology.