Intro to the iLet™ bionic pancreas

Dr. Ed Damiano and the iLet bionic pancreasOne year after the commercial launch of the MiniMed 670G system, another technological breakthrough promises to rock the diabetes world. On May 21, Boston-based Beta Bionics Inc announced that it received FDA approval to begin recruitment for home-use studies testing its version of an “artificial pancreas”. Trials for the iLet ™ bionic pancreas start in the Bay Area THIS MONTH.  Even more good news for the Carb DM community: Dr. Ed Damiano, inventor of the iLet™, is coming to the Bay Area and talking about the iLet™ with Carb DM!  Don’t miss this exciting and informative event happening on June 13. Don’t know anything about the iLet™? Read the primer* below to get yourself up to speed.


The iLet ™ is the brainchild of Dr. Ed Damiano, a professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University. He began working on an artificial pancreas system when his son David, now 18, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an infant. He and his research team at Boston University have been working on the iLet™ ever since. In 2015, Dr. Damiano founded Beta Bionics, a for-profit Massachusetts public benefit corporation in order to commercialize the iLet™. Dr. Damiano serves as Beta Bionics’ President and CEO. Investors include Eli Lilly, Zealand Pharma, and Novo Nordisk.

About the iLet™

The iLet™ bionic pancreas system automatically and autonomously manages blood sugars 24/7.  Unlike the Medtronic Minimed 670G, the iLet™ is a dual-hormone system, i.e it can dispense both insulin and glucagon. The iLet™ uses clinically tested mathematical dosing algorithms developed by Dr. Damiano and his team. The algorithms calculate and command doses of insulin and/or glucagon based on CGM sensor glucose data. Moreover, the algorithms adapt in real-time to changes in insulin needs due to hormonal changes, physical activity, emotional state, etc..


We first profiled the iLet™ on the blog in early 2016. The prototype at that time consisted of two Tandem pumps, a Dexcom CGM, and an iPhone hosting the dosing algorithm. The iLet™ has come a long way since then! The current configuration consists of:

  • a dual-chamber infusion pump capable
  • an integrated continuous glucose monitor (CGM);
  • an external, wearable device housing the dosing algorithms, with integrated touchscreen and user interface
  • a custom infusion set for subcutaneous delivery of insulin alone, glucagon alone, or insulin and glucagon.

Key features

  • Initialized by entering body weight only
  • Does not require the patient to count carbohydrates or calculate carb-to-insulin ratios
  • Does not require the patient  set insulin basal rates or bolus for meals
  • Works in three modes: as an insulin-only bionic pancreas, glucagon-only bionic pancreas, or a dual-hormone bionic pancreas


Want to learn more about the iLet™? Come to our Type 1 Topics event with Dr. Ed Damiano!

Jun 13, 2018
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Parents Place, Palo Alto
Click here to register

iLet bionic pancreas*source: Beta Bionics press release and website
* photos: Beta Bionics website





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