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The contribution of glucagon in an Artificial Pancreas for people with type 1 diabetes

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The risk of hypoglycemia is one of the main concerns in treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D). In this paper we present a head-to-head comparison of a currently used insulin-only controller and a prospective bihormonal controller for blood glucose in people with T1D. The bihormonal strategy uses insulin to treat hyperglycemia as well as glucagon to ensure fast recovery from hypoglycemic episodes. Two separate model predictive controllers (MPC) based on patient-specific models handle insulin and glucagon infusion. In addition, the control algorithm consists of a Kalman filter and a meal time insulin bolus calculator. The feedback is obtained from a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). We implement a bihormonal simulation model with time-varying parameters available for 3 subjects to compare the strategies. We consider a protocol with 3 events - a correct mealtime insulin bolus, a missed bolus and a bolus overestimated by 60%. During normal operation both strategies provide similar results. The contribution of glucagon becomes evident after administration of the overestimated insulin bolus. In a 10h period following an overbolused meal, the bihormonal strategy reduces time spent in hypoglycemia in the most severe case by almost 15% (1.5h), outperforming the insulin-only control. Therefore, glucagon contributes to the safety of an Artificial Pancreas.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACC 2015 - 2015 American Control Conference
Number of pages6
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Publication date28 Jul 2015
Article number7172134
ISBN (Electronic)9781479986842
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2015
Event2015 American Control Conference, ACC 2015 - Chicago, United States
Duration: 1 Jul 20153 Jul 2015


Conference2015 American Control Conference, ACC 2015
LandUnited States
SponsorAmerican Automatic Control Council (AACC)


2015 American Control Conference, ACC 2015


Chicago, United States

Event: Conference

ID: 52336677