Research Update: T1D Devices

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Devices are innovative tools designed, engineered and built to help type 1 diabetics manage blood glucose. Although device development has rapidly progressed over the past five years, much effort is being aimed at creating a device that can act as a surrogate pancreas until a cure for type 1 diabetes is discovered.

Artificial pancreas (AP) systems are devices that multiple companies are focusing their resources on to create. The ideal AP will precisely control blood sugar in all situations, and among other things, will be small and simple to use. Continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) and insulin pumps are integral in the evolution of creating APs.

Communication between CGMs and pumps, where insulin dosing is guided by CGM readings is a relatively new, innovative system called a “hybrid closed loop.” Medtronic 670G and Tandem Control IQ are both FDA approved, hybrid closed loop systems currently available.

Tandem Control IQ development was largely funded by JDRF. This CGM/pump combination was tested in a clinical trial involving 160 patients and results showed an increase of 2.6 hours per day in blood glucose range of 70-180 mg/dl, when users were compared to a control group!

Tandem Control IQ uses novel software that doses, or suspends dosing of insulin, based on analysis of blood glucose trends collected by the paired Dexcom G6 CGM. Hybrid closed loop systems currently in the pipeline for FDA approval include devices from Medtronic, Omnipod and Beta Bionics iLet, as well as software from Tidepool that creates hybrid closed loop systems by linking pumps and CGMs from varying companies.

The AP area is evolving quickly and JDRF’s research dollars are aimed at key areas that include: improving insulin, developing pumps that use glucagon and pramlintide as co-regulators of blood glucose with insulin, improving infusion sets and very importantly, making these new devices available to type 1 diabetics.

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Written By: Greg Bricca
JDRF Research Information Volunteer