Artificial pancreas to eliminate insulin shots

Last Updated: Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 00:00

Washington: Two Indian American researchers in the US are developing an artificial pancreas to deliver insulin automatically and with an individualized precision never before possible.

Thanks to Mayo Clinic endocrinologists Yogish Kudva and Ananda Basu, 25.8 million diabetic Americans may soon be free of finger pricks and daily insulin dosing.

Among the latest findings of the researchers which will be incorporated in the artificial pancreas system, is that even basic physical activity after meals has a profound impact on blood sugar levels for people with type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to properly control blood sugar levels, a source of energy, according to a Mayo Clinic statement.

"You would expect this result, but we wanted to know to what extent this phenomena would happen in people with type 1 diabetes," Kudva says.

Diabetics who engaged in low-grade physical activity after eating, had blood sugar levels close to those of people with fully functioning pancreases. Those who remained sedentary after their meal, however, had elevated blood sugar levels.

The "Closed Loop System" of pancreas under development includes a blood sugar monitor, an automatic insulin pump, a set of activity monitors that attach to the body and a central processing unit.

Clinical trials of the artificial pancreases are likely to begin in November with a handful of inpatient volunteers.

Kudva and other Mayo researchers are collaborating on the artificial pancreas and developing an algorithm that will afford patients the peace of mind to eliminate their daily routine of diabetes maintenance.


First Published: Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 00:00

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