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Over the past several months, we have been hearing a lot about the artificial pancreas. We have heard how wonderful it will be for patients with diabetes and how effective it will be. What we have not heard is what it actual is or how it works.
The artificial pancreas was developed by Professor Joan Taylor. It is made of a metal casing that holds a holds a gel filled barrier inside. The gel barrier is filled with insulin and needs to be refilled every few weeks. The pancreas would be placed in the body near the lowest rib and hip.
As stated by Professor Joan Taylor "When exposed to the body fluid around the internal organs, the gel reacts according to the amount of glucose present. High levels cause the gel to soften and release insulin into the blood stream, once the glucose levels return to normal the nature of the gel causes it to re-solidify, perfectly controlling the insulin dose. The device will not only remove the need to manually inject insulin, but will also ensure that perfect doses are administrated each and every time. By controlling blood glucose so effectively, we should be able to help reduce related health problems."
The artificial pancreas is still in the clinical trial stages and Professor Taylor hopes it will be available in the next five to ten years.
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