Adaptive control in an artificial pancreas for people with type 1 diabetes

Dimitri Boiroux, Anne Katrine Duun-Henriksen, Signe Schmidt, Kirsten Nørgaard, Niels Kjølstad Poulsen, Henrik Madsen, John Bagterp Jørgensen

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In this paper, we discuss overnight blood glucose stabilization in patients with type 1 diabetes using a Model Predictive Controller (MPC). We compute the model parameters in the MPC using a simple and systematic method based on a priori available patient information. We describe and compare 3 different model structures. The first model structure is an autoregressive integrated moving average with exogenous input (ARIMAX) structure. The second model structure is an autoregressive moving average with exogenous input (ARMAX) model, i.e. a model without an integrator. The third model structure is an adaptive ARMAX model in which we use a recursive extended least squares (RELS) method to estimate parameters of the stochastic part. In addition, we describe some safety layers in the control algorithm that improve the controller robustness and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. We test and compare our control strategies using a virtual clinic of 100 randomly generated patients with a representative inter-subject variability. This virtual clinic is based on the Hovorka model. We consider the case where only half of the meal bolus is administered at mealtime, and the case where the insulin sensitivity increases during the night. The numerical results suggest that the use of an integrator leads to higher occurrence of hypoglycemia than for the controllers without the integrator. Compared to other control strategies, the adaptive MPC reduces both the time spent in hypoglycemia and the time spent in hyperglycemia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalControl Engineering Practice
Pages (from-to)332–342
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Model predictive control
  • Adaptive control
  • Artificial pancreas
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Closed-loop glucose control

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