Treating type 1 diabetes: from strategies for insulin delivery to dual hormonal control.

Department of Medicine and Center for Diabetes Technology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA - .
Minerva endocrinologica (Impact Factor: 1.32). 06/2013; 38(2):145-63.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Type 1 diabetes is a disorder where slow destruction of pancreatic β-cells occurs through autoimmune mechanisms. The result is a progressive and ultimately complete lack of endogenous insulin. Due to β-cell lack, secondary abnormalities in glucagon and likely in incretins occur. These multiple hormonal abnormalities cause metabolic instability and extreme glycemic variability, which is the primary phenotype. As the disease progresses patients often develop hypoglycemia unawareness and defects in their counterregulatory defenses. Intensive insulin therapy may thus lead to 3-fold excess of severe hypoglycemia and severely hinder the effective and safe control of hyperglycemia. The main goal of the therapy for type 1 diabetes has long been physiological mimicry of normal insulin secretion based on monitoring which requires considerable effort and understanding of the underlying physiology. Attainment of this goal is challenged by the nature of the disease and our current lack of means to fully repair the abnormal endocrine pancreas interactive functions. As a result, various insulin preparations have been developed to partially compensate for the inability to deliver timely exogenous insulin directly to the portal/intrapancreatic circulation. It remains an ongoing task to identify the ideal routes and regimens of their delivery and potentially that of other hormones to restore the deficient and disordered hormonal environment of the pancreas to achieve a near normal metabolic state. Several recent technological advances help addressing these goals, including the rapid progress in insulin pumps, continuous glucose sensors, and ultimately the artificial pancreas closed-loop technology and the recent start of dual-hormone therapies.

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    ABSTRACT: Recent advances in insulins, insulin pumps, continuous glucose-monitoring systems, and control algorithms have resulted in an acceleration of progress in the development of artificial pancreas devices. This review discusses progress in the development of external systems that are based on subcutaneous drug delivery and subcutaneous continuous glucose monitoring. There are two major system-level approaches to achieving closed-loop control of blood glucose in diabetic individuals. The unihormonal approach uses insulin to reduce blood glucose and relies on complex safety mitigation algorithms to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. The bihormonal approach uses both insulin to lower blood glucose and glucagon to raise blood glucose, and also relies on complex algorithms to provide for safety of the user. There are several major strategies for the design of control algorithms and supervision control for application to the artificial pancreas: proportional–integral–derivative, model predictive control, fuzzy logic, and safety supervision designs. Advances in artificial pancreas research in the first decade of this century were based on the ongoing computer revolution and miniaturization of electronic technology. The advent of modern smartphones has created the ability to utilize smartphone technology as the engineering centerpiece of an artificial pancreas. With these advances, an artificial or bionic pancreas is within reach.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 04/2014; 1311(1). DOI:10.1111/nyas.12431 · 4.38 Impact Factor


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