Sunday, April 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Progress made on a ‘bionic pancreas’ for diabetics

Diabetes Bionic Pancreas

This undated product image provided Boston University Department of Biomedical Engineering shows the bionic pancreas developed by a Boston University/Massachusetts General Hospital research team. The bionic pancreas consists of a smartphone, top, hardwired to a continuous glucose monitor and two pumps, bottom, that pumps deliver doses of insulin or glucagon every five minutes. (AP Photo/ Boston University Department of Biomedical Engineering)

By
From page A5 | June 16, 2014 |

BOSTON — Scientists have made big progress on a “bionic pancreas” to free some people with diabetes from the daily ordeal of managing their disease. A wearable, experimental device passed a real-world test, constantly monitoring blood sugar and automatically giving insulin or a sugar-boosting drug as needed, doctors said Sunday.

The device improved blood-sugar control more than standard monitors and insulin pumps did when tested for five days on 20 adults and 32 teens. Unlike other artificial pancreases in development that just correct high blood sugar, this one also can fix too-low sugar, mimicking what a natural pancreas does.

The device was developed at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston University. Results were featured Sunday at an American Diabetes Association conference in San Francisco and were published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

“I’m very excited about it,” said Dr. Betul Hatipoglu, an endocrinologist at Cleveland Clinic who had no role in the work. Many patients have been frustrated waiting for a cure, so “this is really a great new horizon for them,” she said.

The bionic pancreas is for Type 1 diabetes, the kind often found during childhood. About 5 percent of the 26 million Americans with diabetes have this type and cannot make insulin to turn food into energy. Sugar builds up in the blood, raising the risk for heart disease and many other problems.

These people must check their blood and inject insulin several times a day or get it through a pocket-sized pump with a tube that goes under the skin.

“This would lift that burden off of their shoulders,” Dr. Steven Russell, a diabetes specialist at Massachusetts General, said of the bionic pancreas he helped design.

It has three parts: two cellphone-sized pumps for insulin and sugar-raising glucagon, and an iPhone wired to a continuous glucose monitor. Three small needles go under the skin, usually in the belly, to connect patients to the components, which can be kept in a fanny pack or a pocket.

Patients still have to prick their fingers to test blood sugar twice a day and make sure the monitor is accurate, but the system takes care of giving insulin or glucagon as needed.

Kristina Herndon said her 13-year-old son, Christopher, “loved it” when he tried it for the study, and “felt pretty badly giving it back” when it ended. Christopher has to check his blood sugar eight to 10 times a day and his family has to watch him closely in case it dips too low while he sleeps, which can cause seizures or even death.

“It’s a disease that I think people think is not a big deal but it’s tough. It’s hard on a family,” said Herndon, who lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Next steps: A study starts Monday in 40 adults who will use the device for 11 days. By fall, researchers hope to have a next-generation version combining all three components in one device to be tested in studies next year aimed at winning federal Food and Drug Administration approval.

“My goal is to have this device done by the time my kid, who has Type 1 diabetes, goes to college” in about three years, said Ed Damiano, a biomedical engineer at Boston University.

Two San Diego-based companies – DexCom and Tandem Diabetes Care Inc. – made components of the version tested in the current study. Boston University and Massachusetts General own or have patents pending on the system, and several researchers may someday get royalties.

Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson and several other companies also are working on artificial pancreas devices.

The Boston group’s work is exciting and the results are compelling, but there still are practical challenges to bringing a device to market, said Aaron Kowalski, who oversees grants by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation on artificial pancreas development.

“Most people with diabetes want less devices in their lives, not more,” so putting the components into a single automated system is key, he said.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • JimboJune 16, 2014 - 4:00 pm

    B-b-but the Alex Jones lovers will be afraid Al Quada will be hacking the device in their quest for world domination.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Children enjoy day of fishing at Fairfield pond

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano cities celebrate Earth Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hard-fought battle ends in victory

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Expo shows Kroc Center fun for whole Framily

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Edibles in your landscape

By Daily Republic | From Page: C4

 
Suisun police execute tobacco sting

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

CHP offers free class for senior drivers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Patrons raise a glass to toast a good cause

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Walk MS hits stride along Suisun waterfront

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Covered California offers Solano enrollment events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Weather for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Be wary of next ‘big’ thing

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Pay close attention to investment costs

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

With legalization, lawyers turn to business of pot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Remains of dismembered newborn found in South Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Starbucks stores reopen Saturday after computer glitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Aden hit by coalition airstrikes amid fierce street battles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mother in custody dispute freed after 8 years behind bars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italy marks 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi uprising

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

European authorities stop illegal horse meat network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Italian navy rescues 274 from migrant ship off Libyan coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Warrior pose: Yoga catching on as therapy for veterans’ PTSD

By The Washington Post | From Page: B10

Toll climbs after powerful quake hits Nepal: Things to Know

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

How can we give them more?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

 
Sound off for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Corruption tarnishes values of our ancestors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Obama sides with enemy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 29 Comments

Who’s asleep at the switch?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: Sunday, April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Brides show short wedding gowns more of the love

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Vatican goes on offensive to defend US-Spanish saint

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

You get what you need with Jesus

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3, 4 Comments

 
 
How can I trust my husband after he texted a younger woman behind my back?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

Horoscope: April 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Old standby body-weight training still has moves

By The Washington Post | From Page: C7

 
Milan spiffs up for Expo 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
More copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder memoir being printed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Amber Tamblyn writes book of poetry about dead actresses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Giants beat Rockies 5-4 in 11 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors complete sweep with 109-98 win over Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Athletics drop 3rd straight game, 9-3 to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rain postpones NASCAR race at Richmond until Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Klitschko outpoints Jennings to defend heavyweight titles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michael Schumacher’s son makes strong Formula 4 debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US routs Canada 7-2 in semifinal at under-18 hockey worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Watford back in Premier League after 8-year absence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Several Kentucky Derby hopefuls get workouts in before rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Levy falters at Volvo China Open; 4 tied for lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam team to lead Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Compton, Day top leaderboard in rain-plagued Zurich Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suzuki breaks Oh’s record for runs by a Japanese player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bulldogs get 10-0 baseball win over Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Canadian teen Henderson has 1-shot lead in LPGA Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
A’s place Ben Zobrist on disabled list with knee injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

7 players from Royals, White Sox punished by MLB for brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Bowling report for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Bayless’ layup at buzzer gives Bucks 92-90 win over Bulls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Grizzlies hold off a late Trail Blazers rally to go up 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Hometown report: Bicycle racing, youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Sports on TV for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Veggies take center plate as healthy fast food chains expand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
What’s in a hotel name? Guests try to decipher the mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Is ice cream safe? Federal health officials say yes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
Don’t panic, college seniors: Jobs for grads likely to grow

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

Nicole Herdia Spann

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Reginald Morris Davis

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics