• Andrew Thurston

    Editor, The Brink Twitter Profile

    Photo of Andrew Thurston, a white man with black glasses. He smiles and wears a maroon polo shirt.

    Andrew Thurston is originally from England, but has grown to appreciate the serial comma and the Red Sox, while keeping his accent (mostly) and love of West Ham United. He joined BU in 2007, and is the editor of the University’s research news site, The Brink; he was formerly director of alumni publications. Before joining BU, he edited consumer and business magazines, including for corporations, nonprofits, and the UK government. His work has won awards from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the In-House Agency Forum, Folio:, and the British Association of Communicators in Business. Andrew has a bachelor’s degree in English and related literature from the University of York. Profile

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There are 14 comments on FDA Clears Bionic Pancreas Developed in BU Lab for People with Type 1 Diabetes

  1. Congratulations! I heard about the FDA’s approval yesterday via JDRF’s “Insider News.” Such an accomplishment to benefit those of us with Type 1 (in my case, now more than 6 decades with its challenges). Have followed all your dedicated activity with this project since we connected at BU before my retirement a few years back.

  2. This is a great advancement for newly diagnosed diabetics and those who want to worry less about their carb counting. I personally would have loved to have this during my first few years as a diabetic, since it was definitely a struggle figuring out carb counting . However, I’m not a huge fan of the lack of control which it provides users. The meal bolusing system of “Usual for me” and “More/Less” feels far too general and doesn’t account for factors like fats and protein, since they explicitly tell users to ignore these variables and just focus on carbs. Fats and proteins play a significant role in blood glucose fluctuations, and experienced diabetics will know about this and bolus accordingly. In addition, there is no way to tell the pump that you’re exercising. In fact, their user guide says that you must shut off the pump before beginning exercise, since eating before the workout will not work. I probably won’t make the switch over to this new pump for now but I would definitely recommend this for new diabetics. For me, this technology still has a long way to go before it can truly be labeled as a bionic pancreas.

  3. This is a great achievement! How does this compare with an insulin pump and a sensor? I have had Type 1 for 53 years. I rely on my CGM and T Slim 2x to maintain my basal rates and bolus algorithms.

  4. I agree with “Anonymous” that experienced diabetics expect the ability to make complex and nuanced dosing decisions. I tried the Tandems Control IQ system and found it didn’t allow for customizing target blood sugar range etc. if I can’t achieve the same or better results with an automated system it’s not helpful, although certainly well meaning.

  5. I was involved in the pivotal trial of the insulin-only unit a couple of years ago, and believe me when I tell you this is a game-changer! The constant worry about lows over a lifetime of Type 1 diabetes is exhausting, and while I have been successful with multiple daily injections of insulin and used another manufacturer’s pump for a number of years, the iLet gave me control without the daily hard work and worry. Looking forward to living out the rest of my life with this wonderful technology, thanks for all the hard work to make this a reality!

  6. I’m beyond excited about this! My son was diagnosed with type 1 at 9 years old and now at 11 years old this could help him so much. Like one of the co-inventors I have had hundreds of sleep-interrupted nights checking on my son. I’m wondering when the insurance companies will figure out coverage details.

  7. I agree, this is a game changer. My grandson can benefit immensely from this technology. I feel he is doing well with his condition, but this will allow him to be more of a kid at 11. It will also allow his parents and other family members to not have to worry so much. Will this device be covered 100% by insurance? Thank you Ed Damiano and colleagues.

  8. I have waited 66 years for this new invention! I am ready to try one today! I have a pump now and have used it for 4 years. It has been useful, but not perfect. this life time joourney has certainly had many ups and downs, Thank you for letting me share!

  9. I would love to be on a trial to try out this i Let pump. Been living with Type 1 for over 51 years. Diagnosed in 1972, started on a pump in 1997, switching to a Tamdem slim x2 in 2019. Been a long journey and the idea of just letting a pump take care of my carb counting and insulin amount would be great. I am 71 years old and ready for this type of pump. Thank You for all your work.

  10. I was recently diagnosed with latent onset of Type 1 diabetes at the age of 56! Fourteen months prior to my most recent routine bloodwork, I was perfectly healthy….and then wham! Talk about a punch in the gut! I am a very healthy woman, exercise regularly, play competitive tennis everyday, and did not have a weight problem. I used the pen for injections for about three months before being switched to the I’m Omnipod 5 pump almost a month ago. Having never counted carbs in my life, I feel like this has become a second job for me! With my very active lifestyle, and the fact that I don’t always have the ability or foresight to plan my meals, telling the Omnipod 5 pump how many carbs I plan to eat has proven difficult. We live in a very active retirement community, and have socials at least three times each week, which include snacks and drinks. As much as I thought I would not want to have a little tube coming out of my tummy, the iLet bionic pancreas might be the best solution for me. I have not been told to count calories, or fats, or proteins, it to try to always include a protein when I eat carbs. I would love to be part of an extended study for the iLet Bionic Pancreas due to my crazy onset. I will say, I rarely have low blood sugar, but have crazy high blood sugar and an almost 14 A1C prior to beginning insulin, both long-acting and fast-acting, in October. Help gladly accepted!

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