A new form of artificial pancreas, which reacts directly to glucose levels in the body, is set to be tested in humans with type 1 diabetes.
The move to human trials has been made possible thanks to a funding grant from the type 1 diabetes charity the JDRF. Human clinical trials are set to go ahead in eight patients with type 1 diabetes in Sweden.
The BetaAir is a device which has enclosed live pancreatic islet cells which are able to secrete either insulin or glucagon when glucose levels go respectively too high or too low.
The fact that the BetaAir uses live islet cells has two key consequences. One consequence is that it needn’t be refilled with insulin, as is the case with other artificial pancreas systems. However, the live cells require regular feeding with oxygen. Once a day, a specialist device is pushed into the skin and injects air into the device. This explains why the system bears the name BetaAir.
Beta-O2, the company behind the bio-artificial pancreas is a company based in Rosh-HaAyi, Israel. The makers state that replenishing the system with air is not difficult and takes around 2 minutes. Should the procedure not be carried out properly, an alarm will sound.
This year has seen a host of new technologies competing to become the next wave of type 1 diabetes treatment. The recent progression in technology has aimed to reduce the complexity out of type 1 diabetes control.

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