Artifical Pancreas Development By Medtronic

Has anyone heard any more about this?

A decade of work by scientists to create an artificial pancreas that will independently control insulin levels in people with Type 1 diabetes took a leap forward in research from Medtronic Inc. (MDT) and Johnson & Johnson. Medical pumps developed by the two companies were shown in separate studies this weekend at the American Diabetes Association meeting in Chicago to successfully sense changes in blood sugar levels and adjust insulin delivery accordingly. Today, Medtronic said it’s taking the next step in its product’s development with the start of a feasibility trial testing a fully automated artificial pancreas system.

Here is the link for the rest...

It's another diabetes urban legend, like "there will be a cure for diabetes in 5 years."  =)

I think the people most excited about this technology are the pump manufacturers because it's an extension of what they are already doing.  But there are major problems with it that still haven't been overcome:

- Longevity of the internal pump.  My external pump only lasts about 3-4 years.  Am I going to have surgery every few years to get a new internal pump?

- Refilling the internal insulin reservoir (will this be a home or outpatient procedure? how often?)

- Creating artificial insulin that can withstand being at an internal body temperature for extended periods of time

Ultimately, it's just a machine and any of us who use pumps know that they don't just work without any thought or effort.  It's not the reality of diabetes.  Frankly blood sugar management takes finese. A bolus wizard helps, but I am able to get the best results when I override the wizard sometimes because I can feel my blood sugar is dropping, even though my glucose test doesn't reflect it yet, or because I know I'm going to eat something more.  

I just don't see the future of diabetes management being in closed loop pumps, at least not for me.  There are better potential options in the works, like smart insulins.  I'm hoping they won't be an urban legend.