Artificial Pancreas

Hello Everyone,

I’m new here and wanted to see what everyones opinions were on the Artificial Pancreas?

What are your PROS & CONS ? Are you interested in it?

No such thing.

It’s not out yet.

Who knows what all the pancreas does? I think a good name for the future device would be artificial blood sugar regulator. We all look forward to relief from the burden of trying to stabilise blood sugar. The proposed technology may help. We shall see in a year or two hopefully.

The artificial pancreas or AP brings me hope. I’ve followed the developments in this technology for many years. The reports I’m reading from those that have participated in trials as well as the do-it-yourself experimenters are very encouraging. I’m of an age, early 60s, where I don’t hold out hope for a cure in my lifetime. I do think I will be significantly helped by the evolution of the AP.

From what I’ve read of the various trials, the range for control is worse than what I can do manually. I spend over 80% of my time between 65-140 mg/dl. I definitely think that it will take a few generations of the AP to achieve the same level of control but I’m confident it will happen.

As I’m getting older I think about the future where I may have to spend some time in the hospital or even a nursing home. The current state of the art for diabetes care in these institutions is archaic. It frightens me. If a good AP is around I’m hopeful that it will insure my health and safety if I ever need to use these institutions.

Alll in all, the AP promises to make living with diabetes much easier than now. I can not even begin to think of the relief I’ll feel when the AP can take over all those calculations and corrections and leave me thinking only about what I’d like to eat for dinner!


I agree with the others who essentially pointed out that you appear to be talking about an abstract concept as though it were an actual device. You really did not provide enough detail in your post to offer an opinion.

Even if the AP were an actual device, I can almost guarantee you that opinions are going to probably vary based on what one’s personal experience is. But for now, all I can say is that the AP is an interesting concept that seems to mean different things to different people. I’d still rather have a cure than another device. But I’ll take what I can get … if it can be afforded.

Basically a continuous glucose moniter sends your blood sugars through a algorithm that helps decide what amount of insulin is needed. Then it sends it to your pump , and the pump delivers it.

In reality if we had the algorithm we could figure it out just as well.

I’ve always been interested in the Stem Cell Research… In my opinion that could be a HUGE breakthrough for Diabetics. The only thing then would most people be able to afford it? Would insurance cover it… Or would we be forced to have to go overseas to someone that could do it for way cheaper.

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That’s one definition. But there are also other approaches. Some teams attempt to infuse both insulin and glucagon to try to more accurately control BG. There is always the problem that infusing insulin through tissue is very different from secreting it directly into the bloodstream.

In other words, while the algorithm is no doubt vitally important, there is more to the so-called AP than just the algorithm.

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There are children fitted with artificial pancreas in Australia and it is said to be very successful, enables them to lead a more natural life. I should add that this information comes from newspaper reports.

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That’s wonderful news :+1:

If I could have one today, i woudl sign up. Not because I think it will be perfect, but because it is a step on the way to eradicating this issue from the concerns of my grandchildren and their children’s lives. After all what more could I really ask for after 41 years


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Yes, but only as part of an experimental trial, correct? The same thing happens in the U.S.

In Australia you can also obtain the Medtronic 640G which, while it may not be an AP, it is still potentially a hell of a lot closer to one than my current pump. For the moment it looks like a more likely option to me.

I expect eventually some of the folks who actually follow this research more closely will join in. When they do maybe they can describe what techniques are being used to allow an AP to detect a glucose rise from a CGM … which is typically assumed to be 15 minutes or so “behind” your actual BG … and still stop a BG spike.

Heck I can’t do that consistently even if I prebolus. If an AP is delivering extra insulin only after it sees a BG rise, I don’t see how it would have a chance of keeping up unless it injected intravenously. That seems unlikely to me.

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I am very interested to hear more about these children. I know there was a report - maybe a year ago - about a young boy who was reportedly using an artificial pancreas, but he was not on a closed loop - just had a pump with suspend delivery for expected lows. I didn’t know there were now children using a true artificial pancreas as their therapy.

As far as the many artificial pancreas projects out there, in particular the Bionic Pancreas, I am very, extremely excited, and that it may be a reality by 2018. Having interviewed several people who have gone through an artificial pancreas trial, the experience sounds absolutely life-changing. What hits me the most is the consistent reaction participants seem to have when the trial comes to an end - some level of grief for the loss of living "normally’ even if for a short period of time.

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that’s nothing special. just modern-day Medtronic pumps.

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Yes, I am very interested in something that could take all the data inputs and outputs and then determine the amount of insulin or glycogen needed by my body in real time. Lots of testing of various configurations are underway and the promise is quite exciting.

However, I have to be a bit pragmatic. Will the first generation only keep my overnight BGs around 150, my daytime BGs around 170? I won’t be interested in that, thank you.

There is also a bit of a race going on between multiple APs or Bionic Pancreas devices, and with implanting a patch of insulin producing cells (aka - ViaCyte and others), coupled with this are some stem cell studies claiming the ability to create beta cells. This gives many T1Ds the hope that we might achieve a functional cure where we could essentially grow our own beta cells, have them surgically implanted and go on our merry way until our rogue immune system shuts them down. Then, we theoretically can rinse, lather and repeat. Add to this the work by still others on how to delay/stop our faulty immune system from destroying beta cells in the first place, and you have a whole lot of hope out there. But right now, that’s all it is until we see real products/procedures.

@Lorraine, From what I remember these children were so-called ‘brittle’ diabetics and were doing extremely well. I think it is very exciting as is also the cell therapy. It is easy to say that it is just a pump, but you could say my hearing implant is just a hearing aid, and yet it is so very superior to any hearing aid I have had in the past that I am ecstatic. Little steps…

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Yes of course, the auto suspend is the first step, I agree! And an exciting one at that. But for clarity, I would not consider that an artificial pancreas. Was just trying to clarify what exactly these wee ones in Australia were using. I’m still unsure. It sounds like it may be the insulin pump with auto suspend.

Lorraine, it was just a newspaper article and you know how inaccurate these can be! It looked like a pump and I sort of negated it, but really if it is helping these children improve their control it is exciting, be it only a sort of superior pump.


Absolutely agree! :smile:

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Here is a good review of the 640G that is now available in Australia from our friends @ diatribe

Medtronic 640G

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