Skip to main content
National Winner

YpsoMate Refill: a circular self-injection device

The YpsoMate Refill is a sustainable self-injection device for chronic disease treatment. Unlike current single-use autoinjectors, it offers a reusable alternative, reducing CO2 emissions by 60%.

  • The final YpsoMate Refill prototype is easy to use refill at a Refill Hub.

  • The YpsoMate Refill has reusable fasteners for a quick and easy dis- & reassembly during refill.

    The YpsoMate Refill has reusable fasteners for a quick and easy dis- & reassembly during refill.

  • The YpsoMate Refill arrives in a sustainable box, in which it can be returned after use to a Hub.

  • A physical exploded view of my 3D-printed prototype shows the ease of (automated) disassembly.

  • Sketching, prototyping and testing to develop and easy-to-refill autoinjector.

  • The YpsoMate Refill fits in a circular economy system that the pharma sector is enthusiastic about.

What it does

Currently, 150 million autoinjectors are incinerated every year, releasing 120,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. The YpsoMate Refill transforms the current singe-use autoinjectors into a reusable product, lowering CO2 emmissions with 60%.

Your inspiration

Over the past four years, I have personally experienced the impact of autoinjector waste while using monthly injections to prevent migraine attacks. During this time, I have gone through 60 autoinjectors, resulting in a 28.8 kg of CO2e emissions produced by me alone. This firsthand experience has fueled my determination to address the issue of autoinjector waste—a problem that involves discarding an incredibly complex product after a mere ten-second injection. Introducing The YpsoMate Refill, a reusable autoinjector designed to significantly reduce CO2e emissions and waste associated with self-injection devices.

How it works

The YpsoMate Refill offers a unique approach to self-injection. Instead of discarding the autoinjector after use, patients can effortlessly return it to a Refill Hub through their pharmacy or post. At the Refill Hub, an automated process disassembles the device, performs disinfection, replaces the prefilled syringe, conducts a quality check, and reassembles it. The autoinjector is then sealed with a new medicine-specific label, ensuring a fresh, as-good-as-new look to enhance trust. This label prevents patients from tampering with their expensive medicine but can be easily removed at the Refill Hub for disassembly. To facilitate the refill process, the YpsoMate Refill is optimized with reusable fasteners. I designed subassemblies that do not need disinfection to remain intact during refill, speeding up the process. For instance, the injection spring can be easily reloaded for the next patient using a smart rotating reset mechanism (see video).

Design process

For my design master's graduation project, I created YpsoMate Refill. I started by taking apart existing autoinjectors, to discover that they couldn't be disassebled without breaking. This presented an exciting design opportunity: how could an autoinjector be designed for effortless disassembly in a factory while remaining hard to open by the patient to ensure safety? With a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), I determined the focus points for my design. Through sketching, modeling, and prototyping, I refined the design with input from industry experts. I also visited an autoinjector factory in Switzerland, collaborating with engineers to optimize my concepts. By consulting industry experts, including syringe producers and autoinjector designers, I developed a circular system that pharmaceutical companies would be eager to participate in. I created a simple and flexible process for patients to return their used autoinjectors and devised clear and sustainable packaging solutions. With a high-precision 3D printing prototype I validated the concept. I conducted an LCA, showing a 60% sustainability improvement compared to single-use autoinjectors after just five reuses. At a conference, I showcased my prototype, inspiring pharmaceutical professionals to further develop the design.

How it is different

What makes the YpsoMate Refill unique is that it has a 60% lower CO2 impact than the most sustainable autoinjector currently on the market. It is the first autoinjector that can fully be taken apart without breaking parts, while still being safe to use for the patient. This facilitates easy disassembly, disinfection, and refill, allowing companies to reuse their autoinjectors between patients. What also sets the project apart is that it is based on insights and enthusiasm from the pharmaceutical sector, resulting in large multinationals currently researching the concept further for future market implementation.

Future plans

The Alliance to Zero, a non-profit organization aiming to make the pharma sector sustainable, has shown great enthusiasm for my YpsoMate Refill design. They are currently engaged in further development, including testing the durability of reusable parts. In October, I will have the opportunity to present my project at a medical conference in Sweden, aiming to inspire the pharmaceutical sector to embrace a circular future. Ultimately, I hope that in a few years, I can use the YpsoMate Refill to inject my migraine medicine. So, my used injection device gets another chance to help someone take care of their health and the environment!


End of main content. Return to top of main content.

Select your location