A new clinical study funded by non-profit organisation JDRF has revealed that a hybrid day-night closed-loop insulin delivery system (artificial pancreas) can control blood sugar levels better than sensor-augmented pump therapy in type 1 diabetes patients.

The study was conducted by the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratories, Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science and Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

It evaluated the capability of the closed-loop insulin delivery system in enabling blood sugar control in poorly controlled patients when compared to sensor-augmented pump therapy.

“Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that day-and-night hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery improves glycaemic control.”

Results showed that the proportion of time that glucose was in target range between 3·9 and 10mmol/l was significantly higher in the closed-loop group compared to sensor pump arm.

Also, subjects treated with the closed-loop systems experienced higher reductions in glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels.

Sensor-augmented pump therapy involves a combination of an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitoring sensor. The sensor transmits glucose readings to the person wearing the device, who will make all insulin-dosing decisions.

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However, closed-loop insulin delivery systems combine continuous glucose monitoring with an insulin pump and an algorithm that enables automated insulin delivery.

During the study, the researchers treated a total of 86 patients characterised by sub-optimal blood sugar control with a sensor-augmented pump or the closed-loop therapy.

Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that day-and-night hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery improves glycaemic control.

A statement from the team read: “The use of day-and-night hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery improves glycaemic control while reducing the risk of hypoglycaemia in adults, adolescents and children with type 1 diabetes compared to conventional pump therapy or sensor-augmented pump therapy.

“Results from our study together with those from previous studies support the adoption of closed-loop technology in clinical practice across all age groups.”