Towards an advanced artificial pancreas aimed at optimising metabolic control in people living with Type 1 diabetes

Research Opportunity
Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
1
Number of Master Places Available
1
Department
Medicine and Radiology
Location
St Vincent's Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof David O'Neal DTRG-t1research@unimelb.edu.au
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Ms Catriona Sims catriona.sims@unimelb.edu.au

Summary Those living with type I diabetes (T1D) are faced with the daily challenge of matching insulin dosing with rapidly changing insulin requirements. Mismatch can result in high glucose levels which damage vital organs or low glucose levels which may lead to coma and seizures. An artificial pancreas (AP) automatically adjusts insulin delivery every five minutes in response to changes in blood glucose levels. However, even current AP systems remain challenged by unpredictable changes in insulin requirements associated with meals and exercise. Our research group have studies profiling counter-regulatory hormone levels during exercise of differing intensities in people with T1D. This will help us understand factors influencing insulin requirements during exercise and inform future AP systems using signals in addition to glucose (eg. lactate, ketones, fit-bit data, and heart-rate).

Project Details

Those living with type I diabetes (T1D) are faced with the daily challenge of matching insulin dosing with rapidly changing insulin requirements. Mismatch can result in high glucose levels which damage vital organs or low glucose levels which may lead to coma and seizures. An artificial pancreas (AP) automatically adjusts insulin delivery every five minutes in response to changes in blood glucose levels. However, even current AP systems remain challenged by unpredictable changes in insulin requirements associated with meals and exercise. Our research group have studies profiling counter-regulatory hormone levels during exercise of differing intensities in people with T1D. This will help us understand factors influencing insulin requirements during exercise and inform future AP systems using signals in addition to glucose (eg. lactate, ketones, fit-bit data, and heart-rate).

In 2020 we aim to implement exercise study protocols in healthy non-diabetic individuals that are identical to those we are implementing in people with T1D to benchmark our observations regarding the physiology of exercise in those with T1D and provide a gold standard against which AP systems can be referenced when challenged with exercise. Other projects planned for 2020 include first-in-human studies examining advanced glucose sensors (surgically implanted and part of multianalyte sensing platforms), and AP systems with more advanced glucose control algorithms. The ultimate goal of these technologies is optimising metabolic control while minimising the burden on people living with T1D.


School Research Themes

Cardiometabolic



Research Opportunities

Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

St Vincent's Hospital

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