Improving Devices that Improve T1D Management

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Xuewei Wang, Ph.D., University of Michigan, is bundling diabetes tech to simplify management

For people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), managing blood-sugar levels is a constant challenge. No matter how hard they work, many people with T1D spend a part of every day with blood-sugar levels outside the healthy range. Not only does this feel lousy, it’s really dangerous and potentially life-threatening. That’s why JDRF is committed to advancing technology like artificial pancreas systems that can automate blood-sugar management, making life with T1D easier and safer overall.

While these systems can do much of the heavy lifting involved in managing T1D, they come with burdens of their own. Current systems include an insulin pump and delivery mechanism and a glucose sensor, both of which must be attached to the body, poked through the skin and replaced every few days. These drawbacks can deter people from using these systems, so JDRF is working to make them more user-friendly.

One way is to combine the functions of glucose sensing and insulin delivery into a single device that can be worn for a week or more. Xuewei Wang, Ph.D., is trying to do just that. “An integrated device with enhanced longevity would improve glycemic control in people with T1D while reducing pain and the burden of T1D management,” he explains. “In 10 years, I hope people with T1D can manage their diabetes by using an integrated device that lasts over one month with no more than one calibration by the user per day.”

Dr. Wang is pursuing this goal thanks to a JDRF Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship. These awards enable promising scientists like Dr. Wang to focus their intellect and ambition on improving life with T1D. Learn more about JDRF’s fellows and how you can support their work.

By Monica Harrington