Artificial Pancreas

There are a number of technologies that are taking over the human body. These devices help to regulate what our bodies should do on their own (like the artificial kidneys that are powered by blood pressure). Ultimately, this technology could save millions of lives worldwide, and a new major player has just entered the field.

Researchers from a joint collaboration will soon begin one of the biggest long-term clinical trials of a technology that is designed to regulate the blood sugar levels of those suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Scientists have dubbed the system an “artificial pancreas” and, should clinical trials prove to be successful, it will soon see commercial trials and regulatory approval both in the United States and abroad.

The study, led by a team of researchers from University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine and Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has received $12.7 million in support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

For the trials, the team intends to use the test to monitor some 240 patients across nine states in the US as well as Europe. It will be some time before we have the results in; however, early research on the tech was promising, and the team is hopeful.

Trials

The trials are set to begin early this year in partnership with other key institutions that hope to provide a sustainable method of treating and managing (what is considered) one of the most common chronic disorders and rapidly rising diseases today.

In fact, to date, there are 1.25 million Americans who suffer from type 1 diabetes, which requires them to monitor blood-glucose levels consistently and when necessary, administer insulin through infusion pump or needle injections. Failure to do so could (and often does) result in potentially life-threatening hyperglycemia, low blood sugar, and other complications.

In the end, it is hoped that this system will address the body’s inability to produce insulin beta cells.


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