Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Riddle me this...

The article below (especially highlighted area) suggests that a pod/pump with a CGM that syncs is somehow worthy of being called an artificial pancreas??

What do you think?? Is this the answer we were looking for?

Researchers Successfully Create Computer-Simulated Model for Evaluating Artificial Pancreas

- Key Step in Ongoing Research to Replicate Insulin-Producing Function of Healthy Pancreas for Type 1 Diabetes Patients -
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- A key step toward the successful development of an artificial pancreas for patients with diabetes has been achieved, according to new research published in this month's issue of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.
Researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Sansum Diabetes Research Institute and Stanford Medical Center have effectively created a computer-simulated system for evaluating an investigational artificial pancreas comprised of the OmniPod(R) Insulin Management System--including the OmniPod insulin pump and Personal Diabetes Manager that controls it--and a continuous glucose monitor, in this case either the FreeStyle Navigator(R) or the DexCom STS7(R). The system also includes an algorithm that automates the interaction between the pump and monitor, and facilitates the running of a variety of tests and challenges to the software and component devices. The UC Santa Barbara-developed software and algorithms are also being used with a number of other pumps and monitors in developing additional systems.
"While we still have a ways to go, this new system brings us much closer to making the artificial pancreas a reality for type 1 diabetes patients," explained lead author Eyal Dassau, PhD, Diabetes Team Research Manager at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB). "This achievement is vital--we now have a way, prior to patient trials, to fully verify and validate that an artificial pancreas can efficiently operate in the variety of conditions reflective of a large group of patients with this disease."
The research is part of the artificial pancreas project, which is funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and is being conducted by an international group of diabetes research centers. The project's first goal is to integrate an insulin pump and continuous blood glucose monitor to closely replicate a healthy pancreas for patients with type 1 diabetes--patients whose pancreases no longer produce insulin, which is used by the body to control blood glucose levels. An artificial pancreas will allow for tighter and automated control of blood glucose levels, which would significantly help to avoid the long-term complications of the disease.
"This new system will really help streamline the preclinical trials; it will provide data central to the regulatory review process," said investigator Howard Zisser, MD, Director of Clinical Research and Diabetes Technology at the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. "We plan to begin using it in the next several months."
UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a leading research institution. The two groups involved in this study at UCSB are the Department of Chemical Engineering, which is committed to excellence in teaching and research and in 2007 was ranked ninth in the United States and second in the University of California by U.S. News and World Report, and its Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program, which offers a unique interdisciplinary approach to graduate training and research spanning Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Bioengineering and Biomolecular Materials.
Sansum Diabetes Research Institute is a non-profit research center devoted to the prevention, treatment and cure of diabetes through research and education. In particular, it is known for its work on methods to detect and chart the progress of diabetes and its expertise in new diabetes technology.
The OmniPod Insulin Management System is manufactured and sold by Insulet Corporation (Nasdaq: PODD). The FreeStyle Navigator is a product of Abbott Diabetes Care, and the DexCom STS7 is a product of DexCom, Inc.


Eric Rizzo said...

It says an "investigational" device, meaning it is a long way from practicality or completeness; it does not claim in any way that this is the holy grail some people are waiting for.

The "artificial pancreas" (which is actually a poor name because the pancreas is only responsible for the delivery of insulin, a problem that has been satisfied for quite a few years now; the bigger problems lie in the measurement of BG and the subsequent micro-management that is done by our brains, along with the interaction with other hormones that have an impact on BG). That "holy grail" requires more than just an accurate meter and a reliable delivery mechanism; it requires a sophisticatred controlling "brain", which, according to my reading, is part of what this team has developed. They have also developed a system that allows them to accurately test the system (OmniPod, CGMS, and controlling algorithm) and assess its effectiveness without involving a human subject. The way I read it, that is the big innovation here.

PancreasMom said...

Thank you - you have been a grounding and interpretive voice. I was stopped at ... and focused too much on the point that they thought that a new 'program' using the dexcom and omnipod - both existing technologies could some how be making it closer to the 'artificial pancreas' we have all been hankering for ;) (which honestly I am not sure is what I imagined the holy grail to be ;) (I was thinking of making the body function again ;) I am an optimist and a purist (if that makes sense)

The problem with not involving a human subject is that computers, even when programmed to be random (in my humble opinion) even with attacks from viruses (Which likely would not be simulated, does not mimic our bodies which do respond to viruses...) that a diabetics body (Again in my humble and unprofessional opinion is not predictable and does change often") (or perhaps 'especially' when we are talking about growing bodies and those other brain hormones especially of growing children) and without that ambiguity and randomness ( or one could argue ~ specifics and calculated perfection from the brain) can the solution ever fit the bill??

Thank you so much for responding - your thoughts were really helpful - I am new at reading into these releases... I hear with a diabetics mothers ear with specific experiences under my belt and less as professional and knowledgable view that I may have had in the past.