Coming of age: the artificial pancreas for type 1 diabetes

Hood Thabit, Roman Hovorka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The artificial pancreas (closed-loop system) addresses the unmet clinical need for improved glucose control whilst reducing the burden of diabetes self-care in type 1 diabetes. Glucose-responsive insulin delivery above and below a preset insulin amount informed by sensor glucose readings differentiates closed-loop systems from conventional, threshold-suspend and predictive-suspend insulin pump therapy. Insulin requirements in type 1 diabetes can vary between one-third-threefold on a daily basis. Closed-loop systems accommodate these variations and mitigate the risk of hypoglycaemia associated with tight glucose control. In this review we focus on the progress being made in the development and evaluation of closed-loop systems in outpatient settings. Randomised transitional studies have shown feasibility and efficacy of closed-loop systems under supervision or remote monitoring. Closed-loop application during free-living, unsupervised conditions by children, adolescents and adults compared with sensor-augmented pumps have shown improved glucose outcomes, reduced hypoglycaemia and positive user acceptance. Innovative approaches to enhance closed-loop performance are discussed and we also present the outlook and strategies used to ease clinical adoption of closed-loop systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1795-805
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • Algorithms
  • Blood Glucose/drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin/therapeutic use
  • Pancreas, Artificial


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