With the beginning of twenty first century mankind has witnessed greatest technical evolutions, among those the invention of autonomous drug delivery systems have brought much ease in medical field. Bionic pancreas is a type of autonomous drug delivery system that has performed well for diabetes patients.Pancreas is the main digestive organ of human body. Pancreas works a gland to secrete two contrary hormones, insulin and glucagon. Whatever human intakes, body cells converts it into glucose. Glucose is a sugar that serves as a fuel to human body.
When blood glucose levels rise, pancreas secrete the hormone insulin, which triggers cells throughout the body to take up sugar from the blood. On the other hand, when blood glucose levels drop, pancreas secrete the hormone glucagon which raise the concentration of glucose in blood. Glucagon and insulin are part of a feedback system that keeps blood glucose levels stable. Disorder of blood glucose level in human body is a disease known as Diabetes. Pancreas of Type 1 diabetic patients do not produce insulin hence they have to take it to maintain blood glucose level.
The invention of bionic pancreas started when Dr. Ed Damiano’s son, David Damiano was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Damiano with his biomedical engineering background wanted to help his son and others by contributing in technology to maintain blood sugar levels by infusing correct amount of glucagon and insulin. Damiano worked with Dr. Firas Al Khatib of Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital and finally came up with device called iLet bionic pancreas. Bionic pancreas device is monitored through iphone that keeps record of blood sugar level.
Device has two infusion pumps for each hormone and a blood sugar level sensor worn on body. Device has gone through multiple clinical trials since 2010 and have maintained averaged blood sugar levels for adults. Currently inventors of bionic pancreas are waiting for Federal Drug Authority (FDA) approvals to market it commercially.