Closed-loop insulin delivery: towards improved diabetes care

Discov Med. 2012 Feb;13(69):159-70.


The prevalence of type 1 diabetes is escalating worldwide. Novel therapies and management strategies are needed to reduce associated morbidity. Aggressive blood glucose lowering using conventional insulin replacement regimens is limited by the risk of hypoglycemia. Even the most motivated patients may struggle to manage day-to-day variability in insulin requirements. The artificial pancreas or closed-loop insulin delivery may improve outcomes, building on recent technological progress and combining continuous glucose monitoring with insulin pump therapy. So far, closed-loop prototypes have been evaluated under controlled conditions suggesting improved glucose control and a reduced risk of hypoglycemia. Limitations include suboptimal accuracy and reliability of continuous glucose monitors and delays associated with subcutaneous insulin delivery. Outpatient evaluation is required as the next step, leading to deployment into clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / drug therapy
  • Insulin Infusion Systems*
  • Pancreas, Artificial