Glucose-responsive insulin delivery for type 1 diabetes: The artificial pancreas story.

09 Mar 2018

Insulin replacement therapy is integral to the management of type 1 diabetes, which is characterised by absolute insulin deficiency. Optimal glycaemic control, as assessed by glycated haemoglobin, and avoidance of hyper- and hypoglycaemic excursions have been shown to prevent diabetes-related complications. Insulin pump use has increased considerably over the past decade with beneficial effects on glycaemic control, quality of life and treatment satisfaction. The advent and progress of ambulatory glucose sensor technology has enabled continuous glucose monitoring based on real-time glucose levels to be integrated with insulin therapy. Low glucose and predictive low glucose suspend systems are currently used in clinical practice to mitigate against hypoglycaemia, and provide the first step towards feedback glucose control. The more advanced technology approach, an artificial pancreas or a closed-loop system, gradually increases and decreases insulin delivery in a glucose-responsive fashion to mitigate against hyper- and hypoglycaemia. Randomised outpatient clinical trials over the past 5 years have demonstrated the feasibility, safety and efficacy of the approach, and the recent FDA approval of the first single hormone closed-loop system establishes a new standard of care for people with type 1 diabetes.