Father devises a "bionic pancreas" to help his son with diabetes

But Damiano has done more than nightly monitoring to try to protect his son. He’s an associate professor of at Boston University, and has shifted the focus of his career to developing a better way to care for people with Type 1 diabetes.

“It’s intimidating when you start considering the list of things that influence blood sugar,” he says. “Emotions and physical activity, if you’re healthy. You can’t possibly take into account and balance all those things. And sometimes you get it right. And often you get it wrong.”

Damiano has developed a system he calls a “bionic pancreas” designed to help people better manage their blood sugar. He’s racing to get it approved by the Food and Drug Administration before his son leaves for college in three years.

In tests with 52 teenagers and adults, the device did a better job controlling blood sugar than the subjects typically did on their own. The were reported Sunday at an American Diabetes Association meeting in San Francisco and also in the New England Journal of Medicine.