Injecting insulin with minimal risk

UdG researcher Maira García-Jaramillo proposes, on her doctoral thesis, a new method to estimate the dose and the proper moment to inject insulin safely in type 1 diabetic patients.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder for which the excessive accumulation of sugar in blood or urine, in the long term, can cause micro and macro vascular problems. It happens when cells in pancreas –the organ that produces the enzymes we need to digest food– are unable to secrete enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates the entry into body cells, so that they can produce energy. This is known as type 1 diabetes.

Conventional therapy for this kind of diabetes is based on insulin injections. Due to the difficulty in injecting the correct dose and the risk of hyperglycemia (excess of sugar) and hypoglycemia (when sugar is not enough), systems for insulin dosage are very useful to improve patients’ quality of life. Therefore, it is important to develop predictive tools that take into account some uncertainties such as inputs, parameters and initial conditions. This is the main novelty included in Maira García-Jaramillo’s thesis.

The UdG researcher, in her work entitled “Prediction of postprandial blood glucose under intra-patient variability and uncertainty and its use in the design of insulin dosing strategies for type 1 diabetic patients”, proposes a new method to estimate the correct dose as well as the proper moment to inject insulin, so that the therapy becomes the least risky as possible.

Thanks to a mathematic analysis theory developed by researchers at University of Girona and University of Barcelona, the prediction has now improved. According to the parameters presented by a patient sample, they have developed a new procedure that quantifies the risk of suffering from hypoglycemia and postprandial state hyperglycemia due to wrong insulin injections.

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