The “artificial pancreas” is a system still under experimentation. It is an automated insulin delivery system composed of a continuous glucose monitor which sends real-time glucose concentrations data to a control algorithm which controls a pump for the subcutaneous insulin delivery. In 2014, numerous advancements in the development of this close loop system (CLS) in outpatient settings have been reported; these are still short term studies, but there are positive results. Dr. Jay S. Skyler of the Miami Miller School of Medicine has summarized those studies in an interesting paper “Progress towards a bionic pancreas” (Skyler, J. S. Nat. Rev. Endocrinol. 11, 75–76 (2015)). Dr. Skyler emphasizes key advances obtained in a number of studies such as the feasibility and safety of these portable devices in outpatient settings; a better glycemic control without increasing the risk of hypoglycemia; and the inclusion of adolescents in these studies.
Yet, it looks like there is still quite a bit of experimentation left before any of these systems will be considered for approval in the management of T1D.
I'll be watching closely regarding any new developments and will keep you posted. Until next time!