With the artificial pancreas used by the authors, insulin was delivered through a venous infusion and the rate of delivery was adjusted according to data provided by a continuous blood glucose monitor. After different trials we selected control algorithms integrating two parameters: instantaneous blood glucose concentration and increasing or decreasing patterns of blood glucose. A constant basal insulin infusion rate was added and improved the control of glycaemic excursions. Different parameters concerning exogenous insulin homoeostasis were determined. The delay to reach an insulin effect was 18+/-2 min and was shortened by a priming-dose at the beginning of the infusion. The insulin effect remained for 28+/-2 min after the infusion had been stopped, but differences were noted in the morning (21+/-2 min), in the afternoon (32+/-2 min) and during the night (25+/-3 min). Insulin needs were evaluated during meals. Related to the amount of carbohydrates, the doses fell from 0.53 units/hr/g of carbohydrate for breakfast to 0.15 for dinner. From these data, it appears that the efficiency of exogenous insulin exhibits a circadian rhythm.