University of Cambridge > > Horizon: Bioengineering > Closing on closed-loop insulin delivery: Artificial Pancreas - where we are and where we go

Closing on closed-loop insulin delivery: Artificial Pancreas - where we are and where we go

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Medical Engineering

Research over the past decade shows that blood glucose control is the most important predictor of the devastating complications of diabetes. Achieving good blood glucose control dramatically lowers the risk of serious complications, by as much as 75% for some problems. Yet recent studies reveals that even the best-controlled patients spend less than 30 percent of their day within the normal blood sugar range – especially overnight, when patients are most vulnerable to hypoglycemia and severed hypoglycaemic events like seizures and coma. For these reasons, JDRF , the University of Cambridge and other scientists around the world are working together to develop a closed-loop artificial pancreas, a system that will integrate a real-time glucose sensor and an insulin delivery system. This technology will enable a person with diabetes to improve glucose and HbA1c levels by automatically providing the right amount of insulin at the right time, just as the pancreas does in people without the disease. The highest research priority is the exploitation of existing glucose monitors, whether approved or undergoing regulatory approval, for the development of the artificial pancreas. The most important issue is sensor reliability as accuracy of existing sensor appears to be sufficient. For regulatory approval, the overall performance of the artificial pancreas rather than the sensor accuracy should be the decisive issue.

This talk is part of the Horizon: Bioengineering series.

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