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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,
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."
Insulin Pumpers website http://www.insulin-pumpers.org/
for mail subscription assistance, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org