Modeling insulin kinetics: responses to a single oral glucose administration or ambulatory-fed conditions

Biosystems. 2001 Jan;59(1):15-25. doi: 10.1016/s0303-2647(00)00136-2.


This paper presents a nonlinear mathematical model of the glucose-insulin feedback system, which has been extended to incorporate the beta-cells' function on maintaining and regulating plasma insulin level in man. Initially, a gastrointestinal absorption term for glucose is utilized to effect the glucose absorption by the intestine and the subsequent release of glucose into the bloodstream, taking place at a given initial rate and falling off exponentially with time. An analysis of the model is carried out by the singular perturbation technique in order to derive boundary conditions on the system parameters which identify, in particular, the existence of limit cycles in our model system consistent with the oscillatory patterns often observed in clinical data. We then utilize a sinusoidal term to incorporate the temporal absorption of glucose in order to study the responses in the patients under ambulatory-fed conditions. A numerical investigation is carried out in this case to construct a bifurcation diagram to identify the ranges of parametric values for which chaotic behavior can be expected, leading to interesting biological interpretations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Computer Simulation
  • Feedback
  • Glucose / administration & dosage*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Models, Biological*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Periodicity


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucose