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News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

Diabetes Researchers Report New Steps Towards the First Artificial Pancreas

• Rebecca Boyle via PopSci.com

Private companies and hospital researchers are increasingly making strides toward developing an artificial pancreas, supplanting insulin injections and pinpricks for patients with diabetes. Such a system would mimic the functions of a healthy pancreas, delivering insulin and monitoring blood sugar according to a computer’s careful calculations.

Endocrinologists have been presenting new concepts at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego, and last week, U.S. regulators released new draft guidelines for a new generation of devices.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are developing an artificial pancreas that accounts for slight, low-intensity physical activities that can impact blood sugar levels. The researchers are developing a closed-loop system that includes a glucose monitor, automatic insulin pump, activity monitors that attach to the body and a central computer that uses an insulin-delivery algorithm to determine how much of the hormone to dispense.

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