Artificial Pancreas Monitors Blood Sugar

18 April 2010 (Last Updated April 18th, 2010 18:30)

An artificial pancreas developed by Boston researchers has been shown to monitor blood sugar and deliver both insulin and glucagon to help patients achieve near-normal blood sugar levels for more than 24 hours. The artificial pancreas, tested at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston,

An artificial pancreas developed by Boston researchers has been shown to monitor blood sugar and deliver both insulin and glucagon to help patients achieve near-normal blood sugar levels for more than 24 hours.

The artificial pancreas, tested at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, is made up of a glucose monitor, two pumps and a laptop. It is intended to better mimic the body's natural mechanism of controlling high and low blood sugar.

A computer program works as the brain of the device to constantly analyse blood sugar and calculate when diabetics need a dose of insulin or glucagon.

A similar system was tested by British researchers on 17 children and found it kept their blood sugar levels within the normal range for 60% of the time.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson's unit Animas and DexCom Inc to develop and test the artificial pancreas system, according to Reuters.