It’s finally happened; a research team from the University of Cambridge (UK) has managed to develop a closed loop beta-cell based insulin delivery system for diabetes type I. This bionic pancreas prototype has been constructed for human trials using an iPhone app which monitors blood glucose levels.
There are 3 components to the bionic pancreas; a beta-cell insulin delivery mechanism, a subcutaneous glucose-monitor and an algorithm which can process this data for appropriate insulin secretory control. Developed for both iPhone and Android devices, the mathematical modeling behind the insulin control system was headed by director of research Roman Hovorka at the Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, along with David Dunger and Carlo Acerini.
The algorithm was deemed safe enough to be trialed at home in 33 adults and 25 children by staff and glucose monitoring equipment from the Addenbrooke Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility. A glucose monitor is implanted in the adipose tissue of the abdomen and digitally measures glucose levels every 12 minutes,