Researchers studying automated artificial pancreas could improve management of type 1 diabetes

Mon, 26 Jan 2015
A study is being conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, to determine if an automated artificial pancreas (AP) could solve the problem of nocturnal hypoglycemia in people with type 1 diabetes.

The study is conducted in collaboration with the University of Virginia (UVA) and the Mayo Clinic. The researchers are exploring the capacity for the artificial pancreas system to maintain stable blood glucose levels overnight in people with type 1 diabetes.

The artificial pancreas system consists of a smartphone app with the ability to calculate what blood glucose levels should be, a glucose sensor, and an insulin pump. The aim of the artificial pancreas system is to improve control of blood glucose levels of people with type 1 diabetes without the need for finger-prick tests or regular insulin injections.

The study was conducted by providing ten patients with type 1 diabetes with constant glucose monitoring and insulin pump therapy for five nights, using the artificial pancreas system.

Should the FDA approve the artificial pancreas system, it is likely to be widely-used. Its popularity stems from its simplicity: it only regulates insulin levels to treat type 1 diabetes, unlike the more complicated systems being developed elsewhere.

Carol Levy, MD, an investigator from Mount Sinai, said: "The goal is for people with type 1 diabetes using the UVA AP system to show superior glucose control, reduced hypoglycemia overnight, and for significantly longer periods compared to standard therapy.

"If these patients can achieve stable glucose levels between 80 and 140mg/dL during the night, we expect this will lead to improved blood sugar control throughout the next day as well."
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