74th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association (ADA):

Bihormonal Bionic Pancreas Maintains Blood Glucose Levels in Range in Children with Type 1 Diabetes

A highlight at the American Diabetes Association’s 74th Scientific Sessions was the oral presentation, Multiday Outpatient Glycemic Control in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Using a Bihormonal Bionic Pancreas: The Barton Center Summer Camp Study, by Steven J. Russell, MD, PhD.

Dr. Russell is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston and practices at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Diabetes Center. Both Dr. Russell and Edward Damiano, PhD are Principal Investigators leading a team in bihormonal bionic pancreas studies. Dr. Damiano is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University.

About the Bionic Pancreas
The bihormonal bionic pancreas is a device that combines continuous glucose monitoring with subcutaneous delivery of rapid-acting insulin and glucagon to maintain blood glucose levels within range. The intelligence of the device automatically makes insulin and glucagon dosing decisions every five minutes. The device resembles a smartphone, and is wearable about the body.

Study Methods and Results
The study was designed as a random order, cross-over study in two arms. Thirty-two adolescents participated in the study set in a diabetes summer camp. During the study period, the children wore the biohormonal bionic pancreas for five days and insulin pump for five days.

  • The children were allowed to engage in summer camp activities without exercise or diet restrictions.
  • Plasma glucose levels were compared between the two arms: <70 mg/dL
  • The bionic pancreas reduced the frequency of treatment for hypoglycemia from once per 0.8 days to once per 1.6 days: ~37% fewer interventions.
  • Time within range (70-180 mg/dL) increased.

“The key element with the current version of this device is that it’s wearable, allowing participants to stay in something close to their usual environments, exercise and eat whatever they want,” stated Dr. Rusell.


Russell SJ, El-Khatib FH, Sinha M, Magyar KL, McKeon K, Goergen LG, et al. Multiday Outpatient Glycemic Control in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes Using a Bihormonal Bionic Pancreas: The Barton Center Summer Camp Study. Oral Presentation [237-OR, Abstract], American Association of Diabetes 74th Scientific Sessons, Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, June 13-17, 2014.

Bionic pancreas outperforms insulin pump in adults, youth. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. NIH News. June 15, 2014.

Bionic pancreas successfully controls blood sugar levels in adults, adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Press Release. Boston University and Massachusetts General Hospital. June 15, 2014.



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