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A bionic pancreas may remedy one of many largest challenges of diabetes


The bionic pancreas, a credit score card-sized machine known as an iLet, displays an individual’s ranges across the clock and robotically delivers insulin when wanted by way of a tiny cannula, a skinny tube inserted into the physique. It is worn continually, typically on the stomach. The machine determines all insulin doses primarily based on the consumer’s weight, and the consumer can’t regulate the doses. 

A Harvard Medical School workforce has submitted its findings from the examine, described within the New England Journal of Medicine, to the FDA within the hopes of ultimately bringing the product to market within the US. While a workforce from Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital first examined the bionic pancreas in 2010, that is essentially the most intensive trial undertaken to this point.

The Harvard workforce, working with different universities, supplied 219 individuals with sort 1 diabetes who had used insulin for not less than a yr with a bionic pancreas machine for 13 weeks. The workforce in contrast their blood sugar ranges with these of 107 diabetic individuals who used different insulin supply strategies, together with injection and insulin pumps, throughout the identical period of time. 

The blood sugar ranges of the bionic pancreas group fell from 7.9% to 7.3%, whereas the usual care group’s ranges remained regular at 7.7%. The American Diabetes Association recommends a aim of lower than 7.0%, however that’s solely met by roughly 20% of individuals with sort 1 diabetes, in response to a 2019 study

Other varieties of synthetic pancreas exist, however they usually require the consumer to enter data earlier than they’ll ship insulin, together with the quantity of carbohydrates they ate of their final meal. Instead, the iLet takes the consumer’s weight and the kind of meal they’re consuming, similar to breakfast, lunch, or dinner, added by the consumer through the iLet interface, and it makes use of an adaptive studying algorithm to ship insulin robotically.

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