Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases of our century, with more than 10% of the American population being diagnosed with it. All these statistics could be a thing of the past, however, as an artificial pancreas invention could kill diabetes.
A Harvard Research team has been keeping busy over the last two decades by attempting to create an automatic diabetic care system through an artificial pancreas.
Frank Doyle, the Dean of the Harvard School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, claims that in about five years their experiment may become functional. The researchers have previously tested this concept on mice, which proved to be a success.
The islet cells found in the human pancreas have the role of monitoring and regulating blood sugar levels by developing and releasing insulin. When these cells are killed by our immune system, that is when we develop diabetes.
Currently, medical scientists are trying to find a way to protect the islet cells from being killed. What they have come up with so far is a substance that has the consistency of a jello, which covers the cells, without interfering in their natural cycles of life.
The way Frank Doyle explains it, what the researchers are basically trying to do is come up with an algorithm in order to allow the sensor and the insulin pump to collaborate normally, without any negative results. For this purpose, they are using a mathematical model in order to outline the future.
If their plan works, it will represent an upgrade for the biomedical devices currently present on the market.
This news could quite possibly revolutionize the medical world, as it proves that an artificial material could be used to cure one of the most dangerous diseases of our society. A solution such as this one could greatly impact the lives of millions of people around the world.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which is conducive to a high blood sugar level; it is caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin. According to a 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, around 29 million Americans are suffering from diabetes, either diagnosed or undiagnosed. To that number specialists add 86 million people who currently have pre-diabetes.
The most common symptoms of pre-diabetes are blurred vision, fatigue, increased thirst and repeated urination. Some serious risk factors which you should look out for are increased abdominal fat, a sedentary lifestyle and a BMI larger than 27.
Image Source: AngeliquePanagos