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Artificial Pancreas

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator

LPBI

 

Artificial Pancreas Therapy Performs Well in Pilot Study

Fri, 11/20/2015 – by Wiley

http://www.mdtmag.com/news/2015/11/artificial-pancreas-therapy-performs-well-pilot-study

 

Researchers are reporting a breakthrough toward developing an artificial pancreas as a treatment for diabetes and other conditions by combining mechanical artificial pancreas technology with transplantation of islet cells, which produce insulin.

In a study of 14 patients with pancreatitis who underwent standard surgery and auto-islet transplantation treatments, a closed-loop insulin pump, which relies on a continuous cycle of feedback information related to blood measurements, was better than multiple daily insulin injections for maintaining normal blood glucose levels.

“Use of the mechanical artificial pancreas in patients after islet transplantation may help the transplanted cells to survive longer and produce more insulin for longer,” said Dr. Gregory Forlenza, lead author of the American Journal of Transplantation study. “It is our hope that combining these technologies will aid a wide spectrum of patients, including patients with diabetes, in the future.”

 

Artificial Pancreas Works for Length of Entire School Term

Daniel Walls, a 12-year-old with type 1 diabetes who has taken part in the trial.

An artificial pancreas given to children and adults with type 1 diabetes going about their daily lives has been proven to work for 12 weeks – meaning the technology, developed at the University of Cambridge, can now offer a whole school term of extra freedom for children with the condition.

Artificial pancreas trials for people at home, work and school have previously been limited to short periods of time. But a study, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, saw the technology safely provide three whole months of use, bringing us closer to the day when the wearable, smartphone-like device can be made available to patients.

The lives of the 400,000 UK people with type 1 diabetes currently involves a relentless balancing act of controlling their blood glucose levels by finger-prick blood tests and taking insulin via injections or a pump. But the artificial pancreas sees tight blood glucose control achieved automatically.

This latest Cambridge study showed the artificial pancreas significantly improved control of blood glucose levels among participants – lessening their risk of hypoglycemia. Known as ‘having a hypo,’ hypoglycemia is a drop in blood glucose levels that can be highly dangerous and is what people with type 1 diabetes hate most.

Susan Walls is mother to Daniel Walls, a 12-year-old with type 1 diabetes who has taken part in the trial. She said: “Daniel goes back to school this month after the summer holidays – so it’s a perfect time to hear this wonderful news that the artificial pancreas is proving reliable, offering a whole school term of support.

“The artificial pancreas could change my son’s life, and the lives of so many others. Daniel has absolutely no hypoglycaemia awareness at night. His blood glucose levels could be very low and he wouldn’t wake up. The artificial pancreas could give me the peace of mind that I’ve been missing.”

“The data clearly demonstrate the benefits of the artificial pancreas when used over several months,” said Dr. Roman Hovorka, Director of Research at the University’s Metabolic Research Laboratories, who developed the artificial pancreas. “We have seen improved glucose control and reduced risk of unwanted low glucose levels.”

The Cambridge study is being funded by JDRF, the type 1 diabetes charity. Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, said: “JDRF launched its goal of perfecting the artificial pancreas in 2006. These results today show that we are thrillingly close to what will be a breakthrough in medical science.”

 

Highly Sensitive Biosensor Measures Glucose in Saliva

The glucose biosensor fabricated with flexible substrates can perform in a variety of curved and moving surfaces, including human skin, smart textile and medical bandage.

Diabetic patients have to monitor blood glucose regularly and frequently, but conventional method of taking blood sample for measuring glucose level is painful. It is therefore important to develop high performance biological sensors for monitoring the glucose level at a reasonable cost.

The challenge to develop biosensor to test glucose in saliva is that the amount of glucose in saliva is too small for detection, and it requires a super sensitive biosensor to perform the job. The biosensor developed by PolyU researchers is fabricated with a glucose oxidase enzyme (GOx) layer, which is sensitive to glucose alone and nothing else. By detecting the electrical current, the glucose level can be known. However, there can be interference with current from other possible biological elements in saliva, such as dopamine, uric acid and ascorbic acid. To block such interference, researchers have coated Polyaniline (PANI) / Nafion-graphene bilayer films between the top enzyme layer and gate electrode. The strong adhesion of this top layer to the GOx layer enables the latter to stabilize and perform well in glucose detection.

Our novel biosensor is selectively sensitive to glucose, accurate, flexible and low in cost. The highly sensitive biosensor shows a detection lower limit of 10-5 mmol/L, which is nearly 1000 times sensitive than the conventional device for measuring blood glucose. This means with this biosensor, as little as 5 gram of glucose in a standard swimming pool of 50 m x 25 m x 2 m can be detected. Between the wide range of glucose level from 10-5 mmol/L up to 10 mmol/L (equivalent to 5 g – 5000 Kg of glucose in a standard swimming pool), the biosensor demonstrates linear response, which is good enough for measuring the possible range of glucose in the human body. Accuracy of the biosensor has been ascertained through laboratory experiments with repeatable results using glucose solutions of known glucose levels.

The glucose biosensor fabricated with flexible substrates can perform in a variety of curved and moving surfaces, including human skin, smart textile and medical bandage. Thus, it has great potential for development into wearable electronic applications, such as wearable biosensor for analysis of glucose level in sweat during exercise. It can also be mass produced at a low cost of HK$ 3 to 5 per test chip, which is comparable or even cheaper than the currently available commercialized products. In addition, this newly invented transistor-based biosensor platform is highly versatile. By changing to suitable enzymes, the platform can be used to measure the level of uric acid and other materials in saliva. For instance, if the biosensor is fabricated with enzyme uricase (UOx) and Polyaniline (PANI) / Nafion-graphene bilayer films, the platform can specifically be sensitive to uric acid only and other interference signals can be blocked.

 

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