Artificial pancreas to be a reality

In February, diabetes patients were given hope that an artificial pancreas could be a reality.

One of the groups responsible for this initiative, led by Dr Damiano of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University, has now taken their initial work a step further.

Using their device in patients in unrestricted outpatient conditions, 20 adults and 32 adolescents were studied. Their system involves two pumps – one containing insulin, and one containing glucagon – both responding to signals from an implanted glucose sensor.

The average plasma glucose during the 5-day period with the bionic pancreas was 7.4 mm/l in adults, and 7.7 mm/l in adolescents – and with a lower percentage of time spent with glucoses defined as less than 3.9 mm/l.

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