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Bionic Pancreas Dual-chamber Pump Unveiled at Friends For Life 2015

Updated: 8/14/21 6:00 amPublished: 7/9/15
By Adam Brown

by Adam Brown and Alexander Wolf

Twitter Summary: #CWDFFL15 conference features amazing exhibit hall, #diabetes advocacy #Masterlab, and of course inspiring kids w/ #T1D. Our round up of top tweets!

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One of our favorite conferences of the year is the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference in Orlando. It’s always heartwarming to see many young people with diabetes and their families come together to share their experiences and inspiration. Many kids, teens, parents, grandparents, and extended families have met up with each other outside of these conferences over the years – making friends for life, indeed! While this meeting always fills us with hope, it also serves as a reminder of the many challenges that come with managing diabetes, especially for children. Friends for Life offers an incredible opportunity for those in this community to come together and support each other – and we give big thanks to all those who make it possible. 

The diaTribe team has put together a round up of some of the top updates and tweets from this year’s conference (#CWDFFL15). Check back tomorrow for even more soon, and be sure to follow @diaTribeNews and the #CWDFFL15 hashtag for the latest updates!

On a particularly exciting note, Dr. Ed Damiano of the Bionic Pancreas group revealed a prototype dual-hormone (insulin + glucagon) device (photos below!), with the clever name “iLet” (think, pancreatic “islets”). The current prototype features a touchscreen interface (designed by the brilliant Tidepool team), chambers for both insulin and glucagon, built-in Dexcom and control algorithm integration, and wireless CGM calibration via a paired blood glucose meter (so you cannot mis-enter the meter value). It’s a major improvement over the current research platform, which requires two pumps and a Dexcom receiver connected to a phone. Dr. Damiano hopes to improve the iLet by making it smaller and enhancing the touchscreen over the next nine months; it will ideally be used in a human factors study with a custom-designed infusion set in 2016. The hope is for a pivotal study to take place across the United States from early 2017 to early 2018, and an FDA review to overlap from late 2017 to late 2018. It’s an ambitious timeline requiring many things to go right, though it means the device could be available as soon as late 2018 or early 2019. Dr. Damiano and his team received thunderous applause (there must’ve been 300 people in the audience – absolutely packed, wall-to-wall), and a massive line immediately formed in the exhibit hall to play with the device.

We absolutely love that each year, Dr. Damiano delivers major Bionic Pancreas updates at this meeting, which is 100% patients, patient advocates, and families. He also tends to be willing to stay long into the night answering questions and serving as the much-loved faculty that he’s been for so many years.

Dr. Ed Damiano unveils a commercial prototype, dual-chamber Bionic Pancreas!


The Friends For Life exhibit hall never disappoints!


A Nightscout installation workshop showed us an easy way to remotely monitor CGM on the Pebble Watch!


Adam Brown spoke to teens, sharing “Ten Tips for Living well with Type 1”


Some #T1D celebs made it out for the conference!


@NickJonas was there in spirit…


Diabetes Hands Foundation’s #MasterLab brought together diverse speakers and discussions on advocacy 


What do you think?

About the authors

Adam Brown joined diaTribe in 2010 as a Summer Associate, became Managing Editor in 2011, and served as Senior Editor through 2019. Adam brings almost two decades of personal experience... Read the full bio »