First artificial pancreas trial testing in patients' homes at night

Friday, June 22, 2012 02:59 PM

For the first time ever, two patients with diabetes were successfully treated overnight in their own homes with the MD-Logic Artificial Pancreas (MD-Logic) system, developed by specialists at Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel. The test is a major step towards the development of a commercial device for night-time automatic control of a patient's blood glucose levels at home.

Moshe Phillip, MD, the study head, said that the study "is an important message for patients with insulin-treated diabetes and their families. Night-time is a sensitive period of the day where patients are unable to consciously control their blood glucose levels and are therefore exposed to extreme changes. Using the MD-logic system might change their life."

The trial follows a previous successful test that took place on October 9, 2011, simultaneously in Israel, Slovenia and Germany, where 54 diabetics were treated, for the first time in the world, with the MD-Logic system in diabetes camps.

The study is a part of a prospective, crossover, randomized collaborative project is operated by DREAM (Diabetes WiREless Artificial Pancreas ConsortiuM) with teams from three centers: Schneider Children's in Petach Tikva, Israel; the department of pediatric endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism headed by Tadej Battelino at University Children's Hospital in Ljubljana, Slovenia; and the department of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes headed by Thomas Danne at Kinderkrankenhaus auf der Bult from Hannover, Germany.

The MD-Logic Artificial Pancreas system represents an artificial pancreas and is comprised of an off-the-shelf subcutaneous glucose sensor that monitors glucose levels and an insulin pump. The sensor and pump are connected to a computer that programs the patient's information and stipulates the amount of insulin that should be released to the body in order to maintain blood glucose balance. This innovation "closes the loop" between the sensor and the pump, relieving the diabetic from daily treatment while potentially and significantly improving quality of life.

Utilizing the MD-Logic in the patient's home would allow millions of diabetics all over the world to lead a normal life, freeing them from the demanding and burdensome routine of traditional treatment. Moreover, the MD-Logic would reduce patients' fear of hypoglycemia and the risk of episodic unconsciousness and convulsions that might be secondary side-effects of severe hypoglycemia.

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