The research of Ananda Basu, MBBS, M.D., is focused on developing an artificial pancreas, understanding the mechanism(s) by which diabetes affects heart function, and defining the role of carotid bodies in the regulation of blood glucose in humans with and without diabetes.
- Artificial pancreas for type 1 diabetes. Dr. Basu's research is currently directed at developing physiological models to inform, fine tune and eventually personalize an effective closed-loop control artificial pancreas system for patients with type 1 diabetes using cutting-edge insulin pump and glucose sensor technologies.
These models are designed to assess the effect of sizes of meals, ranges of physical movement that span all activities of daily living, exercise, sleep, menstruation and pregnancy (among others) as they modulate insulin action and glucose variability. Such information is critical to refine and personalize control algorithms that will then be applied to individualize artificial pancreas systems.
To expedite development of the artificial pancreas, Dr. Basu works closely with Mayo Clinic colleagues Yogish C. Kudva, MBBS; James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D.; Rita Basu, M.D.; and Rickey E. Carter, Ph.D.; as well as close external collaborators.
- Effect of diabetes on heart function. Dr. Basu's other research interest includes understanding the mechanism(s) by which diabetes affects heart function. Collaborating with Sharon L. Mulvagh, M.D., in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, he is investigating the effects of high blood glucose on coronary circulation and exploring the underlying mechanisms involved so that rational treatment strategies can be fashioned to mitigate the effects of diabetes on heart disease.
- Role of carotid bodies in blood glucose regulation. In a series of highly innovative experiments, Dr. Basu is also assisting anesthesiologist Michael J. Joyner, M.D., and endocrinologist Rita Basu, M.D., in defining the role of carotid bodies — tiny structures situated on either side of the neck — in the regulation of blood glucose in humans with and without diabetes. Early results are very promising, suggesting that these structures do indeed play a critical role in recovery from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), a condition that is quite common in people with diabetes who are treated with insulin.
Significance to patient care
The personalized closed-loop control system being developed, fine-tuned and validated will have a tremendous impact on improving quality of life, safety, convenience and flexibility for the majority of patients with type 1 diabetes not only in the U.S. but eventually across the world.
This approach also promises to be much more affordable and readily accessible than other currently available cutting-edge approaches, such as transplantation, to effectively treat such patients. It also has the potential to treat a significant subset of patients with type 2 diabetes in the future.
Current plans include obtaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration to begin inpatient research studies involving people with type 1 diabetes at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., later in 2012 and finally, along with external collaborators and co-investigators, start outpatient clinical trials in 2014.