It's been known for some time that applying insulin to wounds can speedup healing. Now there's news (thanks to MedGadget.com) of a new approach to applying the insulin -- Nanodiamonds.
According to a 2006 article from ScienceDaily "Insulin applied topically stimulates human keratinocytes [a major part of your epidermis] causing them to profilerate and migrate into the wound tissue." It also affects microvascular endothelial cells, these line the walls of blood vessels. The can lead to improved blood flow.
The article suggests that part of the reason why people with diabetes have wounds that don't easily heal may be due to the lack of insulin.
The described nanodiamond approach provides a way to deliver insulin more easily. One challenge is that the insulin molecules connect tightly to the nanodiamonds. But by altering the pH (acidity) this binding can be reduced. The compound is promising and "could be integrated into gels, ointments, bandages or suture materials."
What are nanodiamonds? They're microscopic diamond particles that range in size from 45 nanometers to 180 nanometers. That means if you lay about 3,000,000 of them end to end they'd be an inch long. The electron microscope picture is from Nabond.com.
JDRF has launched an online service to connect folks with type 1 diabetes to clinical trials related to type 1.
The JDRF Clinical Trials Connection site gives you an opportunity to participate in trials that may lead to better treatments for type 1 diabetes. I know from participating in clinical trials at the Joslin Diabetes Center and for Dr. Faustman that many of these trials have problems recruiting qualified individuals.
According to the press release I received: "people can provide criteria like the type of trial they are interested in, how long they have had diabetes, and how far they’d be willing to travel, and the site will let them know about studies that match those characteristics. Clinical Trials Connection can help them search for trials, compare one trial with another, and update them on new trials that might match their interest. Plus, the service provides contact information for the researchers conducting the trial, so people interested in trials can contact them directly for more information, after discussing options with their healthcare provider."
The site also includes the following public service announcement ad about clinical trials.
Initial registration at the clinical trials site requires your name, email address and date of birth. After getting your password by email, you then enter much more details including: your date of birth (again); whether you or a family member has type 1 diabetes; date of diagnosis; address; states you would travel to for trials and other details.
I registered and the search for trials turned up the following five:
Study of Islet Transplantation in Type 1 Diabetic Kidney Transplant Recipients
Comparison of Lantus and NPH Insulin in the Dawn Phenomenon
Closed-Loop Glucose Control for Automated Management of Type 1 Diabetes
Imaging Inflammation in Autoimmune Diabetes
Glycemic Stability of Insulin Aspart Versus Insulin Lispro in Insulin Pump Therapy
For each of these studies they provide a more detailed description including: eligibility; exclusion criteria; the clinical phase of the trial; location and contact details.
What have you got to lose? I'd strongly recommend registering so that you can move the state of diabetes research forward.
I can't find any pictures of this device, but there are various announcements today that the FDA has given formal clearance to Medingo Ltd to market its Solo MicroPump in the US.
On the Medingo site, this device is described as having "two parts: a miniature insulin dispensing patch and a remote control, which allows you to completely personalize and guide your patch for your body’s insulin needs."
From the barebones information it's hard to tell if this is just a variant on the Insulet OmniPod or something very different. Please let me know if you're aware of any other information.
Update: Medingo will be unveiling the Solo MicroPump at the AADE meeting in early August. They also plan to launch their Solo website at that time. According to Craig Crease, Medingo's Director of Sales, they want to hold off on other information to "create an element of surprise". As I learn more I'll post it here.
Further update: I've posted separately with pictures and details of the Medingo Solo.
I think I'm the last person to write-up about this meeting so consider this a short recap.
Roche Diagnostics organized this meetup with help from Amy Tenderich and Manny Hernandez. Roche paid all of our expenses to and from the meeting and put us up in a comfortable hotel. I know that going into this summit I was nervous because I really didn't know what to expect. One concern we all shared was whether Roche was going to use the summit to do a big sales job to us. In the end, we all learned from the experience and Roche did an excellent job focusing on social media, and how to engage with it, while keeping marketing away.
We arrived at our hotel on Wednesday evening and had a dinner hosted by Roche at a local restaurant. Each table had 2-3 bloggers and a corresponding number of Roche staff. Despite this, and I know I wasn't alone, we had an opportunity to talk with Roche people about a number of topics including, in my case, the Disetronic insulin pump (aka Accu-chek Spirit) and when it might be available again in the US. At some stage I'd like to review it, hopefully I will have that opportunity.
After a late night talking with each other, we were up early (and not so bright) for a 7:30 trip to Roche offices. Manny Hernandez led us in an exercise where we tried to think about how to increase our outreach to people with diabetes. The 500,000 to 1 million (estimated) people that read our collective blogs already know we exist, but what about the millions of people who are struggling with diabetes without much support except from office visits 2 - 4 times a year.
Some ideas that I liked:
Provide information to doctors offices with a list of qualified online resources that can help people with diabetes. (Gina Capone's excellentDiabetes OC is a great reference site if you're trying to get information about diabetes.)
Form a loose association of blogs and try to focus on a single topic once every few months. We could issue a press release to media around this event and spread awareness of a specific diabetes issue. Eventually media might pay attention to this reliable source for diabetes information and news.
In the afternoon we focused on social media and how to best engage pharma in our world. Here we're all really interested in a relationship that will benefit all of us. We need better information and products; pharma would like to increase awareness of their offerings and get more market share. Getting this right is a delicate balance and I'm sure mistakes will be made. I think Roche wanted to try and learn from our experiences so they don't screw up too much. Of course the problem here is that there aren't really any rules about how to use social media effectively and sometimes we all screw up. But we learn quickly!
I think Roche showed a lot of courage in organizing this first-time event. We bloggers benefited because we had a chance to build stronger connections. I hope that some of the very direct feedback we gave Roche will help them as they try to improve their message for folks with diabetes. (Hint: don't use stock photos, show real people with diabetes in realistic situations: carb counting; testing while exercising; correcting a low; etc.)
Our smiling faces are below, if you click on it you'll get to a page with a link to each blogger. If you want more information about the summit, each of them has provided a slightly different take on it.
Just a quick post while I'm waiting to board a plane.
The event has been organized by Roche, makers of the Accu-Chek line of products. Among other things we'll be talking about is How can bloggers and community leaders best represent and help other patients?
At 4 PM EST today, a lot of folks were testing their blood sugar readings. Paraphrasing Kerri, you could almost hear the collective shunk of our lancets.
Anyone with diabetes tests their blood sugar from time to time. If you've got type 1 diabetes you probably test at least five times daily. After a very short while you get used to it, it's just part of the wearing routine that's living with diabetes.
How many people? 14,000 -- it's a good target number because sometime soon there will be 10,000 members in TuDiabetes.com, one of the best diabetes online communities. And EsTuDiabetes.com, the Spanish language version, has about 4,000 members. So all we needed was for each of those members to test and post.
Watching the Twitter feed at 3 PM today surprised me. There were hundreds of tweets all marked with the #14kPWD hash tag as people counted down to the test time. Folks were giving pointers to time clocks for folks in other parts of the world.
I have never seen so many people who were giddy about testing. People were posting test results in advance to see if they could get their number to a reasonable level. Some of us were wondering how many people would hit the magic 104 number. (That's the reading shown of the box of many blood glucose meters and a number that few of us see during the course of a week or even month.) Others were counting down to 4 PM, the official test time.
Was it effective at raising diabetes awareness? I can't say...yet.
But we did have A Parade of Test Strips and speaking for myself it was a lot of fun. In the end about 700 results were posted. I'll bet that for some of those posting it was the first time they'd shared a BG reading with anyone.
Thanks for pulling this together everyone in the diabetesoc and here's to the next wacky event that makes living with diabetes a little more of a community thing.
Yesterday Insulets, makers of the OmniPod insulin pump, announced a disposal program. To my knowledge they are the first diabetes product maker that's working to reduce the waste we all deal with to some extent, and they deserve a lot of kudos for it.
I spoke with Kevin Schmid, Insulet’s VP of Engineering, about how this works. Each OmniPod has a 357 watch battery, and usually uses up most of the charge so they cannot be reused in any way. In this disposal program the batteries are removed and recycled appropriately.
It's hard to recycle much of the OmniPod because they contain leftover insulin and have been worn, so they're 'contaminated'. This disposal program grinds up the remains of the OmniPod bodies, which substantially reduces the amount of space they occupy in a landfill.
Starting next month customers will get a disposal kit with their shipped OmniPods. They can return a months worth of used OmniPods for about $3. Insulet has also provided a set of answers to possible questions about their program.
Now I know some of you reading this will see all the reasons why this is not a perfect approach. But it's the first step towards making more of the items we use recyclable or easier to dispose of safely. Kevin told me that Insulet will be looking for ways to make this even more eco-friendly in the future.
There are a lot of us who wish living with diabetes didn't have such a big carbon footprint. Take a look at some of the photos in the Diabetes365 project that have been tagged with trash to see the stuff we collect.
I just hope that other diabetes suppliers will sit up and take notice of this important first step by Insulet. I know this will let me look more closely at the OmniPod system when I'm getting my next insulin pump.
Attribution: The photo above was taken by Kate Lilly and is one of many excellent photos on the Diabetes365 project site. She kindly let me use it in this post and retains all rights to this image.
From time to time I'm reminded about just how devastating diabetes might be. In this case I'm not thinking of the various complications that we think about all the time. This is a situation that those of us in the US are more in danger of encountering
Until yesterday, I thought that personal bankruptcy was really reserved for those of us without insurance. But the article Insured, but Bankrupted by Health Crises in yesterday's New York Times points out that being insured doesn't mean I'll be saved from financial woes. Hearing that "an estimated three-quarters of people who are pushed into personal bankruptcy by medical problems actually had insurance when they got sick or were injured" does not make it easy to sleep at night.
For me living with diabetes is all about balance, nothing new about this if you've been living with diabetes at all. But here's a situation that I just can't balance out.
Since being laid off earlier in the year my insurance is provided thanks to COBRA. But that will expire in the middle of next year and my insurance choices at that stage may be severely limited. With an 'existing condition' my chances of getting coverage for diabetes costs are zero unless I have a full-time job with health insurance by then.
But here's something that I may be able to affect positively. I'm going to write to my federal representatives and let them know just how important health insurance legislation is for me and my family. Not being covered is a challenge for me that strains our budget. But declaring bankruptcy affects my family and I don't like it when something threatens people I love.
Can I ask for your help?
I know from years of contacting elected officials that a note in the mail is often the most effective way to get their attention. A hand-written note really wakes them up, but even a typed letter goes a long way. Look up your elected federal officials and drop them a quick note telling them why access to real insurance is so important to you. If they hear from a handful of us it might just make the difference when it counts most.
The Diabetes Technology Blog is focused on using technology to live life to the full with diabetes. I review new diabetes technology including: blood glucose monitors; continuous glucose monitors; blood sugar meters; diabetes software and living with diabetes.
Name: Bernard Farrell
Location: Massachusetts, United States
I was born in Ireland and now live in the US.
I have had Type 1 diabetes for over 36 years. I struggle with my blood sugar, the same as most people with diabetes.
I wear a Cozmo 1800 insulin pump and a Dexcom SEVEN Plus CGM to track my blood glucose levels.
I'm blessed by God, and every day brings the possibility of a cure.