Artificial pancreas for diabetes

Artificial pancreas for diabetes

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Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Artificial pancreas. Researcher Dr Roman Hovorka holding part of an "artificial pancreas". This device measures blood glucose level and automatic- ally injects insulin to normalise it. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own insulin-secreting cells, which are found in the pancreas. Insulin is the hormone that controls blood glucose (sugar) levels. An excess (hyperglycaemia) or lack (hypoglycaemia) of glucose in the blood can be fatal. Diabetics must inject themselves with insulin every day, but this system provides them with an automatic mimic of the pancreas. Hovorka works at City University, London, UK. Photographed in 2002.

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