Chiara Dalla Man

Chiara Dalla Man
Associate professor in Bioengineering
University of Padova, Department of Information Engineering

Chiara Dalla Man was born in Venice, Italy, on March 2, 1977. She graduated cum laude in Electronics Engineering at the University of Padova in 2000 and received the Ph.D degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Padova and City University London, in 2005. She is currently Associate Professor in Bioengineering at University of Padova.

Her research activity, carried out in collaboration with Italian and foreign investigators, regards mainly mathematical modeling of physiological systems, in particular metabolic and endocrine systems. She is author of more than one hundred publications (Scopus reports 114 papers in the period 2002-2018, quoted 5626 times, with an h-index of 37) on international journals and 4 International Patents. 

She is on the editorial board of Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology and Frontiers in Systems Biology and serves as reviewer for several peer reviewed journal in the field.

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Modeling as a Tool to Understand Glucose Regulatory System in Humans

The glucose system has been widely studied in the last decades given the increasing number of people with diabetes worldwide. Diabetes is a complex disease and its understanding/treatment requires synergy of several disciplines, among which biomedical engineering, and in particular mathematical modeling, played a relevant role.

Different classes of models can be used depending on the purpose. Minimal models, i.e. parsimonious descriptions of the key components of the system functionality, are worthwhile when the aim is measuring crucial processes of glucose metabolism. On the other hand, maximal models, i.e. comprehensive descriptions attempting to fully implement all the knowledge about a system, are generally large, nonlinear models of high order, with several parameters, thus more suitable for performing simulations. In silico models are indeed powerful tools for system analysis and can be used when it is too difficult, expensive, dangerous, unethical or impossible reproducing the system in a laboratory.

Although in a different way, both minimal and maximal models contributed to improve our understanding of the glucose system.

In this talk, a set of minimal models describing insulin control on glucose systems, as well as glucose stimulation of insulin secretion, will be briefly described first, highlighting both the methodological aspects and models use in pathophysiology.

Then, the so-called UVa/Padova Type 1 Diabetes Simulator will be presented in an historical perspective, from the first released version to the latest published improvements. The main features of the simulator will be discussed, highlighting why it was accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a substitute for preclinical trials for certain insulin treatments, including closed-loop algorithms. The UVA/Padova type 1 diabetes simulator has been so far and it is currently used by several research group in the world to test closed-loop controller performances before going to human clinical trial. However, it is less known that the use of the simulator is not limited to closed-loop control of diabetes. For instance, it can also be used to analyze glucose sensor performance in different virtual scenarios, for assessing the usefulness of glucose prediction to generate hypoglycemic alerts or to test how to use CGM data for decision making (like insulin dosing) or for testing the pharmacodynamics of new insulin analogues/molecules.



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