Navigation Links
Engineering new weapons in the fight against juvenile diabetes
Date:6/6/2011

Troy, N.Y. Engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are combining automation techniques from oil refining and other diverse areas to help create a closed-loop artificial pancreas. The device will automatically monitor blood sugar levels and administer insulin to patients with Type 1 diabetes, and aims to remove much of the guesswork for those living with the chronic disease.

For six years, Professor B. Wayne Bequette, a member of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer, has been creating progressively more advanced computer control systems for a closed-loop artificial pancreas. His work stands to benefit the 15,000 children and 15,000 adults who are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, every year in the United States.

"Every single person with Type 1 diabetes has a different response to insulin and a different response to meals," Bequette said. "These responses also vary with the time of day, type of meal, stress level, and exercise. A successful automated system must be safe and reliable in spite of these widely varying responses."

For Bequette, the fight against Type 1 diabetes is also personal. His younger sister developed the disease early in life, when the state of diabetes care was not nearly as advanced as today.

Bequette's work is funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), along with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He frequently publishes research findings in the journals Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics, and Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, of which he is a founding member of the editorial board. His most recent study, titled "A Closed-Loop Artificial Pancreas Based on Risk Management," may be viewed online at: http://bit.ly/ls4vTl

In Type 1 diabetes, an individual's pancreas produces little or no insulin. As a result, they must inject insulin several times every day, or use an insulin pump that continually administers small amounts of rapid-acting insulin. Additionally, they must test their blood sugar several times every day. Failure to maintain proper insulin and blood sugar levels could result in serious, potentially life-threatening hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, but is most commonly diagnosed from infancy to the late 30s, according to the JDRF.

A key challenge for people living with Type 1 diabetes, Bequette said, is the constant monitoring of their blood sugar level. Blood glucose levels are generally measured from a tiny blood sample captured from a finger stick test, prior to eating or sleeping. Another critical challenge, he said, is accurately estimating how many carbohydrates they eat. These blood sugar readings, along with the amount of carbs eaten, must be interpreted to decide how much insulin the individual needs to inject. Exercise and fitness also impact the amount of insulin required. Continuous blood glucose monitors are available on the market, but are not yet as accurate as finger sticks tests, he said.

All in all, Bequette said, there are many judgment calls and best guesses being made on a daily basis by individuals with Type 1 diabetes. And though medical technology for diabetes is very advanced and reliable, he is working on an artificial pancreas that would remove the need for most of this guesswork.

The device marries an insulin pump with a continuous blood glucose monitor, which work in conjunction with a feedback controller forming a "closed-loop." A diabetic would wear this device at all times, with a needle inserted just under the skin, in order to regulate his or her glucose levels. When the device senses the blood sugar getting high, it automatically administers insulin. Inversely, the device cuts off the insulin pump to avoid hypoglycemia.

The newest incarnation of this device includes options for users to input their carbohydrate intake. Bequette said this should greatly boost the accuracy, reliability, and predictive capability of the device. Importantly, the device will still function if users forget to input their meal information.

At the heart of this closed-loop artificial pancreas are Bequette's carefully engineered algorithms. The sophisticated computer code makes predictions based on data inputs, including blood glucose levels and eaten carbohydrates. Bequette employs model predictive control and state estimation techniques, which he used in his research in controlling traditional chemical processes, such as oil refining. These methods are able to extract more meaningful, predictive data from blood glucose monitoring, and other critical aspects of the artificial pancreas.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Columbia Engineering team makes major step in improving forecasts of weather extremes
2. Stevens biomedical engineering students fight hypothermia on the battlefield
3. Yale scientists discover new method for engineering human tissue regeneration
4. Massachusetts General Hospital Center Reignites Methods in Bioengineering Conference
5. Harvards engineering school receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant
6. Engineering education society names NJIT professor Fellow
7. Rice bioengineering students invention may help diagnose painful eye condition
8. UC Berkeley launches Synthetic Biology Institute to advance research in biological engineering
9. Engineering students win International Environmental Design Contest
10. Bioengineering with vetiver grass on Guam
11. Tufts engineering professor wins NSF Career Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... Sweden , April 28, 2016 First ... M (139.9), up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... profit totaled SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin ... 7.12 (loss: 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK ... The 2016 revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new ... make more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction ... timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies ... screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing ... lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... Florida , March 31, 2016 ... ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange ... potential users of its soon to be launched online ... ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide potential ... use of DNA technology to an industry that is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the ... at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application ... team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a ... discoveries to the medical community, has closed its Series ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received a ... the capital we need to meet our current goals," ... provide us the runway to complete validation on the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... software, is exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s ... conference. ClinCapture will also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... the QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate ... The shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to ... key obstacle for many early stage organizations - access ... the sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: