The Making of an Artificial Pancreas to Help Diabetics – How Close are we?

The Junvile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) has undertaken an ambitious project to create an artificial pancreas.  There are many hurdles to overcome, but JDRF has released initial results that are encouraging. On September 8th, 2009, the JDRF released a press release showing preliminary results of the continuious glucose montiors (CGM) which “demonstrate continued improvements 12 months after use, with ‘remarkably low’ occurence of severe hypoglycemia.”
Aaron J. Kowalski, PhD, who is program director of metabolic control at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) told Endorcine Today that “I would say that we are really close, perhaps closer than many think.” He continues, “I will be incredibly disappointed if we do not have some degree of automation in the system before five years.”  Johnson & Johnson is also involved in this project.

The benefit of such a device to type 1 diabetics are many, including removing the requirement of calculating insulin dosages, follwing carbohydrate intake, and reducing risk for seizures from low blood sugar levels.

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