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New Hope for Diabetics; Bionic Pancreas Passes Trial
- Updated: June 16, 2014
Bionic pancreas could give the kind of freedom that a diabetic has never experienced before. In two trials, this device proved to be far better at controlling blood sugar and preventing drops than standard therapy for Type 1 diabetes. This device is worn outside the body and checks the patients’ blood sugar periodically, and administers insulin and another hormone when necessary. Bionic pancreas was designed by Edward Damiano, a Boston University engineer.
The trial involved 52 people, of them 20 were adults and 32 were adolescents. The trial was a five day long affair and the study was a real world trial i.e. they were not confined to a lab. The patients were monitored closely 24 hours a day.
Blood sugar control in Type 1 diabetes is a complicated process. The patients have to test their blood many times a day and calculate the amount of insulin their body needs based on the blood glucose levels as well as their diet and exercise. Dangerous drops occur often and can lead to unconsciousness or coma.
This bionic pancreas has proved effective in controlling blood sugar to near normal levels as well as decreased instances of sugar level drops. The researchers are now developing a final trial and are improving the bionic pancreas. By 2017, a new and improved version of the device will be available for the US market.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Dr. Betul Hatipoglu, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic who had no role in the work. “Many patients have been frustrated waiting for a cure, so “this is really a great new horizon for them.”