June 8, 2009

From The News Wire: Artificial Pancreas Used in T1s

Hi there YDMV fans. This one sounds interesting. Dexcom & Omni Pod used in closed loop:

NEW ORLEANS, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- UC Santa Barbara and SansumDiabetes Research Institute scientists have demonstrated for the firsttime that an automated artificial pancreas system (APS) can safely andeffectively maintain desired blood glucose levels in patients with type1 diabetes. The clinical study results will be presented today in alate-breaking poster session(1) at the American Diabetes Association's69th Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

The UCSB and Sansum researchers, working with the Schneider Children'sMedical Center of Israel, tested an automated insulin delivery systemcomprising the OmniPod(R) System and the DexCom STS7(R) continuousglucose monitor, linked and controlled through UCSB's artificialpancreas software. The software's insulin delivery algorithm, optimizedfor each patient, includes a unique safety feature, based on clinicalparameters, which prevents insulin-induced low blood glucose levels(hypoglycemia).

Read the full story here:


Clearly there is a lot of work going on and lots more to come. PWD are not going to see these at there next endo visit. It does get me wondering, how would you feel about using a closed loop?

There are so many non-insulin delivery variables in the YDMV equation that I am kinda sceptical. (I know me being skeptical who would have thought it?) How does it know there is exercise coming up? How does it account for stress?


  1. To say I'm skeptical would be an understatement. What's to keep the thing from going haywire? I don't even trust a GCMS, why would I trust one attached to a pump? I think CGMS are great but you're not supposed to dose by them. So, how do you do that in a closed loop system?

  2. Count me in that skeptical category. Although it is good to see it being worked on.

    I wonder how the slow absorption of insulin and accuracy of CGM (and good old fashioned BG meters!) will be overcome?

  3. Penny/Scott,
    You've got to realize that no "closed-loop" device will be delivered to us with the current CGMS technology - you're both right that it is not accurate enough. But these R&D projects are probably going forward with what is available today knowing that CGMS accuracy is going to improve to the point that it can be used for dosing.
    They would be stupid to sit back and wait for CGMS to get all the way there before attempting to develop the software (the "algorithm" as this article calls it) and integration with a real delivery technology (OmniPod, in this case). Waiting would be foolish, so they're getting a head start now and will integrate new CGMS tech when it becomes available.
    Put another way: the efforts do NOT have to be done in a serial fashion (where one step has to finish completely before the next can begin), they can work in parallel. That is the smart thing to do.