July 9, 2009

Human testing on artificial pancreas

A number of medical research institutions are testing an artificial pancreas on human subjects, a doctor at Connecticut's Yale-New Haven Hospital said Thursday.

Dr. Stuart Weinzimer said an artificial pancreas would change the lives of people with diabetes.

It's not only monitoring the blood sugars, but giving the appropriate amount of insulin every minute to control those sugars, Weinzimer said.

An artificial pancreas will link the continuous sensors that monitor sugar levels in the body with the insulin pump, he said. The sensors eliminate testing the blood several times and day and the pump administers insulin automatically.

I test my blood sugar on average maybe 10 or more times a day, Sarah Carlow, 14, of Cheshire, Conn., said You have to check your blood sugars while you're playing sports. I also have to count carbohydrates.

Carlow tested an experimental pump for a few days and said it would be amazing to be able to use it full time.