Artificial pancreas

The artificial pancreas has three elements: a glucose sensor, a computer and a device for administering insulin and glucagon. In people with type 1 diabetes, the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed and the level of sugar in the blood is uncontrolled.

Glucose measurement:
The artificial pancreas has a device that monitors blood glucose (sugar) levels every five minutes

Computer controller:
The glucose level readings are transmitted to a computer that calculates the the body's requirements for insulin and glucagon

Insulin and glucagon administration:
The computer regulates how much insulin (which reduces blood sugar levels) and glucagon (which raises them) should be administered 24 hours a day.

In the study, insulin and glucagon were administered through a catheter in the subcutaneous tissue of the abdomen

SOURCE: Science Translational Medicine, Science, Graphic courtesy of Alan Jürgens /La Vanguardia

JAVIER ZARRACINA, AARON ATENCIO/GLOBE STAFF