New insulin pump technology





Susannah Elliott was diagnosed with

Type 1 diabetes in 2007. During her

regular visits to the Diabetics Centre at

Hammersmith Hospital she was invited

by her consultant, Dr Nick Oliver, to take

participate in clinical trials with his team

- the Diabetes Technical Research Group

- and their development of the first bioinspired

artificial pancreas.

The Bio-Inspired Artificial Pancreas

(BiAP) is worn externally and combines

a continuous glucose monitor (CGM)

that reads the user's interstitial fluid sugar

level with an insulin pump that infuses the

insulin into the body. The most innovative

element is the biologically-inspired

microchip which uses an algorithm to

combine the CGM results and the pump's

infusion capability in terms of delivery

insulin doses. As a result, the research

team at Imperial College and St Mary's

Hospital is able to replicate the activity

of the beta cells of the pancreas using

integrated circuits on a silicon microchip.

With this they have been able to deliver

insulin profiles in a manner similar to that

of a healthy pancreas.

Susannah, now six months into the

trials, has had her blood sugar monitored

and the algorithm used to calculate

what her insulin basal level should be.

At different points in the research time

was spent testing results under certain

conditions, such a night time tests or

fasting. Armed with this information, even

though she finds her diabetes as difficult

to manage as any other diabetic, she has

been able to tweak her lifestyle even while

working full time.

As a side benefit to the research, she

has found that her motivation to improve

her blood glucose control has also


Susannah, who is continuing with the

trials until the end of March, comments:

"In this economic climate, it's very inspiring

Susannah Elliott and her BiAP insulin pump

and uplifting to see such a dynamic team

working in the NHS. I'm excited about

how this technology can improve the

lives of other people with. I am more than

happy to take part in future tests with the

Diabetes Technical Research Group."


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