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Artificial pancreas clinical trials begin in London

"The world’s first artificial pancreas controlled by the patient’s own body has begun clinical trials, researchers announced last night.
The research, led by Professor Chris Toumazou at Imperial College London, aims to develop a better treatment for type 1 diabetes. Currently, patients manage the disease by testing their blood sugar (glucose) levels regularly and injecting themselves with insulin up to six times daily.
Continuous glucose monitoring using a sensor implanted under the skin has been a recent technological improvement for patients with this illness. But the long-desired diabetes treatment has been an artificial pancreas: an implant that could both sense blood glucose levels and administer the appropriate amount of insulin instantaneously.

A silicon cell

Prof Toumazou’s innovation is to integrate sensing and treatment in one device, effectively creating a new pancreas outside the body.
The new device’s system is modelled on the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, called beta cells. In type 1 diabetes, these cells are attacked and destroyed by the body’s immune system gone awry.
By replicating the behaviour of the beta cell in response to glucose, a small chip can serve as a “silicon beta cell”. Like real beta cells, the chip does not respond to low levels of glucose but is very excitable above a certain threshold. Once triggered, this chip wirelessly signals the insulin pump, which is programmed with an algorithm that determines how much insulin to administer.
The device will eventually comprise two small gadgets: the chip inside the glucose sensor, and the insulin pump. Both could sit on the outside of the abdomen. They would provide continuous monitoring and insulin control, even while the individual was asleep."

Trials begin

"Prof Toumazou publicly announced the trials last night, in a lecture called 'Bioinspired Technology' at the Royal Society. He said that clinical trials began on November 23rd at St Mary’s Hospital in London. The trials include 25 patients, one of whom is a member of the research team who has type 1 diabetes.
Though the technology is not yet miniaturised, Toumazou said, it is fully functional, and was being worn by his PhD student in the audience. The group expects to report on results from the trial in 2012."

29 November, 2011

Commentaire de M. Jean-Michel Billaut (Billautshow) :
"Dommage que Steve Jobs ne se soit pas intéressé à ces choses ... en plus de l'IPhone, l'iPad ... un iPancreas Apple ... de quoi décoiffer nos aimables mandarins ... Et dans ces domaines, mieux vaut un mode fermé qu'ouvert à la Windows, Androïd ... si vous voyez ce que je veux dire ..."

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