Artificial pancreases are designed to regulate blood glucose levels for people with type 1 & 2 diabetes.
Managing diabetes can be challenging. Even with careful monitoring and use of insulin, it’s not always easy to keep blood sugar levels normal. An artificial pancreas may be a way to help people with type 1& 2 diabetes manage their condition.
Researchers began studying the potential of these devices decades ago. The FDA recently approved it for treating type 1 diabetes in people age 14 and older.
Artificial pancreases hit the market in 2016. The devices automate blood sugar management. They dose the correct amount of insulin when the body needs it. A smart phone or tablet can direct a computer program that controls the artificial pancreas. It links to a glucose monitor sensor and insulin pump to find out blood sugar patterns and control insulin delivery.
The pancreas releases hormones and digestive enzymes in the body. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose (sugar) uptake from the blood into the cells to use for energy. This process lowers blood glucose levels.
Glucagon is another hormone in the pancreas. It causes the liver to release stored glucose. This raises blood glucose levels.
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can’t make the insulin needed to regulate a person’s blood glucose. Glucose stays in the blood. Insulin is not available to allow for cellular uptake. This makes blood sugar levels rise. It can cause serious acute and chronic health problems.
TYPES OF ARTIFICIAL PANCREASES
Types of artificial pancreases
The “hybrid system” is the only type of artificial pancreas available. It’s closed-loop system includes a sensor attached to the body. It measures glucose levels every five minutes. It also automatically gives or withholds insulin via an insulin pump. The pump is attached to the body via a catheter connected to the insulin pump. It also contains a computer chip that determines insulin doses.
It’s considered a hybrid system because it’s not fully automatic. Users manually confirm insulin doses from the machine. They do this after entering how much carbohydrate is being consumed. Users must also perform calibration.
Fully closed-loop artificial pancreas systems are still being developed. These systems will give a person the proper insulin levels without any human input.
The device is priced at Rs 5 to 6 lakh and entails a recurring monthly expense of Rs 10,000-20,000.
Artificial pancreas may be available by 2018.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first closed-loop artificial pancreas system, the MiniMed 670G from Medtronic.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A 53-year-old man, who was diabetic for the past 18 years, became the first patient in south India to have an artificial pancreas after a successful procedure at Jothydev's Diabetes Research Centre in Thiruvananthapuram. The first generation artificial pancreas, 640 G, was implanted earlier this month. Artificial pancreas was first tried on a four-year-old Australian boy who had type-one diabetes in January this year.
The device - which is almost the size of an iPhone - can be attached to the stomach, buttock of kids or on thighs of patients wearing dhoti. Insulin must be refilled every three days. 640G is so unique that the device need not be removed even while bathing or swimming. A tiny remote control, the contour meter helps glucose monitoring, insulin infusion and wireless communication between devices. The device is painless and ideal for kids,"