Artificial pancreas for diabetics

Researchers at Boston University are developing artificial pancreas for diabetic patients. The gland would be worn externally. It would improve blood sugar level monitoring and would be helpful for patients with type I diabetes.

Ed Damiano, a biomedical engineering associate professor at Boston University is working on the project. He explained that the device would be working on a closed loop system which has three parts. It would have a blood sugar monitor, an insulin pump and a computer chip. The chip would be the communication link between the monitor and the pump. Thus, there would be an automatic secretion of insulin according to the body needs of the patients.

Though the monitor and pump are already available in the market, it would be the computer chip which would make the difference.

Damiano and his wife Toby Milgrome, a pediatrician, are co-developing the device. It was their personal problem which led to the invention. A few years ago their son David was found to be a diabetic. Due to the problems that the couple and their son faced, they discovered the new device.

"Not to be too grandiose about it, but the artificial pancreas will dramatically transform diabetes care for people with type 1 who really depend on a very burdensome regimen to stay in good control," says Stuart Weinzimer of Yale University School of Medicine.