University of Virginia Medical Center, Va.

Hello. I'm Dr. Gene Barrett. I'm a diabetes doctor and researcher at the University of Virginia Health System. This morning I'd like to tell you about one of the exciting studies that we're undertaking that will impact the lives of individuals with type 1 diabetes; that's the form of diabetes that comes on early in life and requires insulin for treatment pretty much from the time of diagnosis.

Dr. Boris Kovatchev here is leading a project called the artificial pancreas project. That project is based upon his having gathered a tremendous amount of data over the last eight to ten years on the patterns of blood sugar that occur in individuals with type 1 diabetes in response to activity, in response to eating, and in response to insulin injections. He's used these to create a computer simulation, and that computer simulation, he is then using to drive insulin dosage so that he has a closed-loop feedback system. That closed-loop feedback system will allow us to regulate blood sugar in individuals with diabetes better than we can now do.

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This project, although in a mature form now, will be further modified using other engineering feedback techniques where we will be able to, for example, study the impact of exercise on blood sugar and changes in blood sugar and add that to the effect of feeding and of insulin injections. Combined, this will provide us an opportunity to control blood sugar in individuals with diabetes in a way that has not previously been possible.

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