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Sleep for Brittle Diabetics

A device that allows brittle diabetics to get a full nights sleep
  [vote for,

I have a friend who is a brittle diabetic, which means that she needs to have her blood sugar read atleast 6 times a day. That means she can't sleep for more than 6 hours maximum before being woken up by someone to have her blood checked and then ofcourse remedied.

She has an insulin pump but two things they don't have yet, a glucose pump and a way of checking blood non-invasively. They are working on the latter (rather slowly I may add) but as of yet I hear no plans for the next step which propose.

Putting the items together in such a way so the person can sleep atleast 8 hours consecutively. What's needed:

1. A mass spectrometer for telling the glucose in the skin. I have seen these and they have and can be miniturized.

2. A small computer no smarter than the digital watch variety, able to determine what the glucose levels mean and what to do accordingly.

3. Transmitter to a baby monitor to signal a person nearby if something is terrably wrong.

4. Glucose and Insulin in squishy pouches so they are comfortable to sleep with.

5. Shape and placement on the body so that it can useful and comfortable. My idea was a fuzzy donut that goes around the ankle that hooks into the waist like an insulin pump does, but I'm open to suggestions.

sartep, Apr 24 2003

Diabetic watch http://www.amarillo...a_watchtracks.shtml
Non-invasive blood glucose monitioring [oneoffdave, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Islet Sheet Medical http://www.isletmedical.com/
[FloridaManatee, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Alin Foundation http://www.alinfoun...search/Pancreas.htm
[FloridaManatee, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

link to glucose biosensor references http://www.serva.de...wledge/061333.shtml
Some random glucose biosensor references [cevilthedevil, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       Couple kilos of plutonium croissants on the way.
thumbwax, Apr 24 2003

       There is a watch type device to measure blood glucose [link]. All it needs is to link it to some appropriate decision-making software and glucose/insulin pumps and this may be bakeable. +
oneoffdave, Apr 24 2003

       Replace the dammaged islet cells. They do all you ask - monitor glucose levels, product insulin and moderate glucose levels, 24 hours a day and all without invasive testing.   

       Here's the idea: Living islet cells are available from pigs. To prevent rejection without resorting to immunosuppressant drugs, seal off the cells under a semi-permeable membrane that allows through nutrients, but not immune cells. The SPM must be immunounreactive.   

       Too good to be true? It's baked.
FloridaManatee, Apr 24 2003

       All we can do now is wait.
sartep, Apr 24 2003

       6 hours. 6 whole hours. Sweet sweet 6 hours of sleep.
bungston, Apr 24 2003

       Implantable artificial pancreases are currently in the testing phase, I believe. They're about the size of a hockey puck, and contain glucose sensors and decsion-making software to release an appropriate amount of insulin from the reservoir. They need to be refilled after several months (via syringe). Low glucose levels could be corrected by adding a glucagon reservoir and adjusting the software (thereby mimicking pancreatic funciton more completely), but as I understand it, low glucose is not as common a problem and is more easily corrected (just by eating), so there is less impetus to create the device.
mandy, Apr 24 2003

       I've seen the membranes in TV. They are about the size of a credit card and thin. They contain living islet cells, not glucose.   

       In any case, if I was that messed up, I'd not say no to a hockey-puck sized solution.
FloridaManatee, Apr 25 2003

       Well, obviously living cells are preferable, but last I heard there were some complications with that approach (I believe the cells just stopped working or something). There's a center here in Santa Barbara that specializes in diabetes, and I attended a lecture about a year ago. They had tried the hockey puck prototypes, and had really good results. My impression is that you don't notice them at all after the implantation (except when they're refilling them, of course), since it's inside your abdominal cavity (between the stomach and spine, I believe--not a place people other than contortionists are particularly conscious of). Sadly, the companies had stopped testing them for some reason as of last year (it wasn't due to complications, probably development costs). They did sound more immediately workable than the pig cells.
mandy, Apr 25 2003

       That's why I'm hoping for a faster solution, whatever it is.
sartep, Apr 25 2003

       ...as are we all.
fanta_moon, May 19 2003

       Should be pretty easy to implement, I dont think you need a mass spectrometer just immobilize glucose oxidase on a substrate/in a membrane, the glucose oxidase will convert the glucose to glucconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide will oxidise and the reaction can be used to drive an electrochemical sensor.   

       The glucose sensor would be in the form of a microelectrode, which could be easily and painlessly be inserted into the bloodstream. The whole thing could probably be put in a single chip and then a feedback loop can be used to regulate glucose levels. A watch sized device could house the whole lot easily, could probably even have a wireless connection to the pumps.   

       This is pretty well baked technology so should easily be feasible (if someone hasnt done it already...)
cevilthedevil, May 19 2003

       [kwailo78], glucose oxidase is an enzyme (ie catalyst), the H202 would undergo anodic oxidation to produce gluconoate and electrons and this can be picked up amperometrically.   

       It is completely non toxic: I am sure someone must already have invented this advice, if you look through PubMed. I think that a similar device has been developed in neuroscience to monitor glucose levels in the brain. see link.
cevilthedevil, May 20 2003

       They have continuous glucose monitoring systems now on the market. I tried one for two weeks and it was an amazing piece of tech. It reguired an injection site but I able to keep the same site for about two weeks without any infection. The readout unit was too big and the numbers were about 20 minutes behind actual blood glucose levels, but still very cool to be able to watch your numbers climb or fall and be able to take action before damage was done. It comes with alarms to signal when you are too high or to low.   

       The problem I've heard is that until we are able to reliably insert insulin directly into the bloodstream without causing an infection (similar to those that have kidney failures and are forced to have open shunts that allow pathagens into the system) we have to insert it into the fat, which slows absorbtion time to 3 to 4 hours. That creates a lot of problems with time lag that the healthy body does not have to deal with. The internal hockey puck is *still* in trials in Europe and have no forseeable plans to pass the FDA.   

       I'm guessing that all of this bio-mechanical devices are going to be a deadend and gene manipulations are the way of the future. But until then we have machines to make us Borg, I mean keep us alive.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Dec 09 2006


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