Diabetes is a chronic disease characterised by deficient insulin production and that requires daily administration of this hormone. The cause of T1D is not known, and it is not currently preventable. Even though T1D can be diagnosed at any age, peaks in diagnosis usually occur between the ages of 5 and 7 and at puberty. According to the International Diabetes Federation, T1D affects more than 1.1 million children and adolescents.
The Artificial Pancreas is a closed-loop system composed of a subcutaneous Glucose Continuous Monitoring (CGM) system, a subcutaneous insulin pump and a control algorithm designed to regulate real-time glucose concentration via insulin administration. The control algorithm adapts the therapy on the basis of the real-time state of the patient.
The two most critical challenges that the AP deals with are: 1) the intra-patient variability due to changes in insulin sensitivity; 2) the inter-patient variability. These variabilities are particularly accentuated in the child and adolescent populations.
MPC is one of the predominant control technique in this field of research due to its model-based predictive nature and the capability to naturally manage constraints on both state and input. The focus of this line of research is the development of a personalized pulsive zone-MPC able to adapt to different patients as well as different operative conditions (variations in insulin sensitivity, physical exercise, unannounced meals, etc…)