Mathematical model of glucose-insulin homeostasis in healthy rats

Math Biosci. 2013 Oct;245(2):269-77. doi: 10.1016/j.mbs.2013.07.017. Epub 2013 Aug 2.


According to the World Health Organization there are over 220 million people in the world with diabetes and 3.4 million people died in 2004 as a consequence of this pathology. Development of an artificial pancreas would allow to restore control of blood glucose by coupling an infusion pump to a continuous glucose sensor in the blood. The design of such a device requires the development and application of mathematical models which represent the gluco-regulatory system. Models developed by other research groups describe very well the gluco-regulatory system but have a large number of mathematical equations and require complex methodologies for the estimation of its parameters. In this work we propose a mathematical model to study the homeostasis of glucose and insulin in healthy rats. The proposed model consists of three differential equations and 8 parameters that describe the variation of: blood glucose concentration, blood insulin concentration and amount of glucose in the intestine. All parameters were obtained by setting functions to the values of glucose and insulin in blood obtained after oral glucose administration. In vivo and in silico validations were performed. Additionally, a qualitative analysis has been done to verify the aforementioned model. We have shown that this model has a single, biologically consistent equilibrium point. This model is a first step in the development of a mathematical model for the type I diabetic rat.

Keywords: DMTI; DMTII; Glucose; Insulin; Mathematical model; NaF; SE; diabetes mellitus type I; diabetes mellitus type II; sodium fluoride; standard error.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Computational Biology
  • Computer Simulation
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Mathematical Concepts
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pancreas, Artificial
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucose