Friday, October 22, 2010
The Pancreas is an organ in the body that is responsible for production of hormones particularly insulin which is important for metabolism of glucose and other food groups. Artificial Pancreas is a term widely referred to in the old as theoretical. Thanks to modern technology, it is a reality. However, I do wonder about the durability of this product. Considering the experimental work of Prof Taylor et al who developed the device from De Montfort University, Leicester, it could put an end to the daily injections people living with diabetes have to endure to regulate their blood glucose levels.
The new artificial pancreas, invented and patented by Prof Taylor, is made of a metal casing containing a supply of insulin kept in place by a gel barrier. When the body’s glucose levels drop, the gel barrier starts to liquefy and lets insulin out. The insulin feeds into the veins around the gut then into the vein to the liver, mimicking the normal process for a person with a healthy pancreas. As the insulin lowers the glucose level in the body, the gel reacts by hardening again and stopping the supply.
When Insulin came up in 1921, There was a lot of mixed feelings as regards the reliability, quality and availability. Such fears were later fixed, thanks to the commercialization of this whole process. When the Artificial pancreas eventually came to be, will it only benefit those living with type 1 diabetes or could it be modified to handle those with insulin resistance which is the case with most persons living with type 2 diabetes.