Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
In healthy individuals, blood glucose is controlled by two hormones, insulin and glucagon. Insulin reduces glucose levels and glucagon increases glucose levels. In type 1 diabetes, insulin secretion is lost due to the destruction of the beta cells of the pancreas.
Type 1 diabetes is treated with life-long insulin-replacement therapy using daily injections or subcutaneous insulin infusion via a portable pump. With the current treatments, less than 20% of patients achieve glucose targets, and the life expectancy of patients with type 1 diabetes is less than that of the general population by as much as 13 years.
The development of the artificial pancreas is the focus of Dr Haidar’s lab. The artificial pancreas is a medical device that automatically regulates glucose levels for patients with type 1 diabetes. The artificial pancreas is composed of a glucose sensor, an infusion portable pump, and an advanced mathematical dosing algorithm that controls hormonal delivery based on the sensor readings.
Dr Haidar’s lab uses commercial pumps and sensors, but develop and clinical test novel control algorithms that lie at the heart of the artificial pancreas. Dr Haidar’s lab also conducts clinical trials to assess different configurations of the artificial pancreas, the performance of the artificial pancreas during exercise and meals, and the performance of the artificial pancreas in special patient populations and during long term use.
The artificial pancreas is considered the most promising therapy for type 1 diabetes. The work of Dr Haidar has a great potential to improve patients’ quality of life.