Artificial pancreas for type 1 diabetes could reach patients by 2018
A new report brings welcome news to patients with type 1 diabetes: an artificial pancreas that continuously monitors blood glucose levels and delivers insulin to the body as and when needed could be available in the next 2 years.
Type 1 diabetes is estimated to affect around 1.25 million children and adults in the United States.
The condition arises when the beta cells of the pancreas stop producing insulin - the hormone that is responsible for removing glucose from the blood and transporting it to cells, where it is used for energy. Without insulin, blood glucose levels become too high.
In order to control blood glucose levels, patients with type 1 diabetes require daily doses of insulin, either through injections or an insulin pump.
Injections remain the most common form of insulin administration; two daily injections are normally recommended for patients who have just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, normally increasing to three or four over time.
Insulin pumps are a more advanced form of insulin delivery. They are devices that deliver a continuous dose of insulin 24 hours a day via a catheter that is inserted under the skin.
The problems with current insulin therapies
However, while mostly effective for blood glucose control in type 1 diabetes, current insulin delivery methods do not account for variability of insulin needs among patients with type 1 diabetes.
The amount of insulin a patient needs can vary from day to day, depending on their diet, physical activity levels, and - for women - changes in insulin sensitivity during menstruation.
According to report auth Continue reading