A team of researchers in the US has developed a functional artificial pancreas that has performed well in humans in the pilot study.
The researchers are reporting a breakthrough in developing the artificial pancreas as a treatment for diabetes and other conditions by combining mechanical artificial pancreas technology with transplantation of islet cells, which produce insulin.
In a study of 14 patients with pancreatitis who underwent standard surgery and auto-islet transplantation treatments, a closed-loop insulin pump, which relies on a continuous cycle of feedback information related to blood measurements, was better than multiple daily insulin injections for maintaining normal blood glucose levels.
Use of the mechanical artificial pancreas in patients after islet transplantation may help the transplanted cells to survive longer and produce more insulin for longer, said lead author Gregory Forlenza. "It is our hope that combining these technologies will aid a wide spectrum of patients, including patients with diabetes, in the future."
The study appears in American Journal of Transplantation.