Father Creates Bionic Pancreas To Save Son From Type 1 Diabetes
Biomedical engineer at Boston University, Ed Damiano understands what it’s like to guard a child having type 1 diabetes. Bearing in mind the case of his 11-year old son David, Ed realized that failing to immediately treat highs and lows in blood sugar may cause confusion, numbness and coma in severe cases. As a result, he targeted a device which had the ability to undo these situations automatically. Ed collaborated with his team of researchers to create what they termed the ‘bionic pancreas.’ When worn on the body, the device delivers hormones in amounts which diabetes-free pancreases naturally produce.
The device makes use of a sensor that needs to be implanted just beneath the skin. It monitors levels of blood sugar and the information is transmitted to an iPhone app. It also ascertains the amount of insulin and glucagon needed by the wearer every five minutes. Once that is determined, a command prompt to the device results in hormones being delivered through either of the two pumps.
Ofcourse, preliminary testing was done before bionic pancreas received publicity. A total of 52 participants took part and bionic pancreas proved to be a much better tool to control blood sugar. Given its efficacy, the study was published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Considering as many as 20,000 people less than 20 years of age require diagnosis for type 1 diabetes, bionic pancreas could prove crucial in the near future.
Ed now awaits the approval of FDA (Food and Drug Administration) so that his son can use the device before he gets into college. Here’s hoping that day comes sooner rather than later.