Diabetes Forecast

The Healthy Living Magazine

Adding Glucagon to an Artificial Pancreas


In search of an artificial pancreas that perfectly balances blood glucose levels, researchers tested a prototype that contains both the glucose-lowering hormone insulin and the glucose-raising hormone glucagon. Including glucagon in an artificial pancreas may help guard against dangerous blood glucose lows. The experimental device consisted of an insulin pump, a glucagon pump, and a continuous glucose monitor linked through a computer algorithm that calculated how much insulin or glucagon to deliver based on glucose measurements. The researchers tested the device on six people with type 1 diabetes over two days during which participants ate carbohydrate-rich meals and exercised. The researchers say the device achieved excellent blood glucose control with only a few episodes of mild hypoglycemia. This experiment took place in a hospital, but the researchers say the results justify a study in a "real world" setting.
Source: Diabetes Care, published online Aug. 24, 2012


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