Thursday, December 1, 2011

U.Va.'s Artificial Pancreas a Real-World Success for Diabetes Patients

For the first time ever, patients with Type 1 diabetes have controlled their disease in a real-life setting using an artificial pancreas system developed by University of Virginia researchers. This milestone means researchers are even closer to revolutionizing diabetes care for millions of people with Type 1 diabetes.

At the heart of the system is a novel hand-held device developed by a U.Va. research team, led by Patrick Keith-Hynes and Boris Kovatchev, members of the psychiatry and neurobehavioral sciences faculty in the School of Medicine. The device uses a "smart" algorithm to automatically deliver insulin and regulate a person's blood sugar levels – taking much of the burden of constant monitoring off the patient.

This first outpatient study marks the latest milestone in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Artificial Pancreas Project, which involves an international research consortium including teams from U.Va., the University of California in Santa Barbara, Montpellier University Hospital (France), and the universities of Padova and Pavia (Italy).

Researchers in Europe recently announced the trial results. The study took place in France and Italy. In the study, two patients with Type 1 diabetes attained near-normal glucose levels after spending one night outside of a hospital while using the artificial pancreas system. The patients were able to eat a restaurant meal and spend one night at a hotel while using the device.

The Center for Diabetes Technology at UVA
The staff at the CDT understands where the treatment of type 1 diabetes is headed tomorrow. Our familiarity with current technology and our advancement and innovation of new technology, gives us a special perspective not offered anywhere else. Here, current technologies and new developments come together to advance the future of diabetes care.