An artificial pancreas has been found to deliver insulin and control blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes better than an insulin pump can.
A trial conducted by researchers at the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal and the University of Montreal (IRCM) tested two configurations of the artificial pancreas.
The first configuration delivered insulin alone, while the other delivered insulin and glucagon.
During a randomised crossover trial, patients with type 1 diabetes attended the clinic three times a week. Each participant used both devices during this period, as well as a conventional insulin pump.
The team concluded that improved glucose control was found from both versions of the external artificial pancreas and the risk of hypoglycemia was reduced compared to convention pump therapy.
The dual-hormone artificial pancreas – that delivered insulin and glucagon – was found to be better at reducing hypoglycemia, although the authors noted the single-hormone system could be “sufficient for hypoglycemia-free overnight glycemic control.”
Improved diabetes management
It is believed by the IRCM team that the artificial pancreas could improve diabetes management and the quality of life for patients and their families.
They are now planning further clinical trials to test the artificial pancreas and hope the technology will be on the market in the next five to seven years.

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