Utilizing an external artificial pancreas is more effective in improving glucose control and reducing the risk of hypoglycemia than currently available conventional diabetes treatments, a new study reveals. According to scientists, the external artificial pancreas is an automated system that simulates the normal pancreas by continuously adapting insulin delivery based on changes in glucose levels.
Two configurations exist: the single-hormone artificial pancreas that delivers insulin alone and the dual-hormone artificial pancreas that delivers both insulin and glucagon. While insulin lowers blood glucose levels, glucagon has the opposite effect and raises glucose levels.
Dr. Rabasa-Lhoret, Director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Diabetes research clinic at the IRCM and professor at the University of Montreal's Department of Nutrition, said that their clinical trial was the first to compare these two configurations of the artificial pancreas with the conventional diabetes treatment using an insulin pump and they wanted to determine the usefulness of glucagon in the artificial pancreas, especially to prevent hypoglycemia, which remains the major barrier to reaching glycemic targets.
The study was published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology.