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[IP] implantable insulin pump (at least 3 years down the road)

I found this on the AOL Message boards:

Subject: Wired News on pumps
Date: 6/8/99 10:52 PM EST
From: <A HREF="aol://3548:RadioS4073">RadioS4073</A>
Message-id: <email @ redacted>

Found this in Wired News today.
                     The Smart Pump: Insulin Inside
                     by Lindsey Arent 

                     3:00 a.m.  8.Jun.99.PDT
                     New microchip technology has led to the
                     creation of an advanced, implantable
                     insulin pump that may eventually free
                     diabetics from troublesome daily insulin

                     Engineers at the University of Delaware
                     have developed algorithms small enough
                     to fit on a chip that can monitor and
                     control blood-sugar levels. 

                     The chip could be embedded in a
                     surgically implanted insulin pump that
                     could release insulin as needed and be
                     refilled monthly, researchers said. 

                        Read ongoing Med-Tech coverage 

                     "The key thing is to make a diabetic
                     person feel as close to a healthy and
                     normal person as possible," said Francis J.
                     Doyle III, an associate professor of
                     chemical engineering at the college and a
                     co-developer of the technology. 

                     "That means a lifestyle without multiple
                     injections with a needle and a lifestyle
                     without a pump hanging from their hip,"
                     he said. "The device would act as an
                     artificial pancreas, much like a

                     The details of the research were
                     announced Monday at a conference of
                     the Association for the Advancement of
                     Medical Instrumentation in Boston. 

                     The system closely controls blood sugar
                     levels in Type I or insulin-dependent
                     diabetics by continuously predicting the
                     patient's need for insulin. 

                     "We want to take the patient out of the
                     loop and make it so they don't have to
                     think about anything," said Robert S.
                     Parker, doctoral candidate and
                     co-developer of the research. 

                     The algorithm would analyze glucose
                     readings from a sensor and instruct the
                     mechanical pump to deliver the
                     appropriate dose of insulin to the patient,
                     Parker said. 

                     Normally, diabetics must take their own
                     glucose measurements and correct their
                     blood sugar levels with a
                     self-administered insulin injection, Parker

                     The device would likely be placed near
                     the left hip, close to the portal vein,
                     which is the blood vessel between the
                     stomach and the liver where the
                     pancreas normally releases insulin into the

                     The surgery to implant the pump would
                     be a complex procedure, Parker said, but
                     beyond that, the device would be
                     designed for easy maintenance. 

                     Refills of the pump's insulin reservoir
                     would probably require a monthly,
                     outpatient injection. "It's an injection
                     once a month into the pump, down from
                     three or four a day," Parker said. 

                     While news of the chip is encouraging to
                     many of the nation's 16 million diabetics,
                     doctors caution that an artificial pancreas
                     will not be available anytime soon. 

                     The project, which is sponsored by Roche
                     Diagnostics and by the National Science
                     Foundation is at least three years from
                     reaching the market. 

                     Still, recent advances look promising. An
                     implantable pump by MiniMed
                     Technologies is currently being tested
                     and there are several other companies at
                     work on sensor technology. 

                     "If this algorithm proves to be as good as
                     they say, it may be an important link
                     between the sensor and the pump," said
                     Dr. Michael Bush, former president of the
                     American Diabetes Association. "But
                     [people] need to realize it'll still take a
                     number of years to prove whether this
                     can be used effectively." 
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