What Are the Different Methods of Insulin Delivery?

Dec 31 2017 Read 1721 Times

Currently, self-administered injections are the most popular method of delivering insulin to the body. This is usually done via syringes, insulin pens, jet injectors and insulin pumps. Now, diabetes patients could be set to enjoy a new era of blood sugar management.

With around 6% of the UK population currently living with diabetes, the breakthrough could literally chance millions of lives. The USA is also set to benefit, with over 9% of the population currently diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

Introducing a synthetic "smart gel"

Developed by a team of Japanese researchers from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, the method involves implanting a synthetic "smart gel" under the skin. Unlike previous electronic-free insulin delivery systems that rely on glucose oxidase and sugar-binding lectins to sense glucose, the new method champions a protein-free, 100% synthetic approach.

A clever closed-loop system

The "smart gel" takes advantage of the sugar-responsive properties of boronic acid and delivers insulin in a single catheter. Once implanted the gel uses a closed-loop system to act as an artificial pancreas. When glucose levels are high the gel becomes permeable and releases doses of insulin into the body. Similarly, as glucose levels drop it develops a protective skin that stops insulin delivery. This empowers the body with the ability to control the glucose metabolism for up to three weeks. The method has already succeeded in delivering glucose-responsive insulin to diabetic mice, with the team hoping to proceed to human trials in 2018.

An economic and disposable solution

"Our “smart gel” technology could offer a user-friendly and remarkably economic (disposable) alternative to the current state of the art, thereby facilitating availability of effective insulin treatment not only to diabetic patients in developing countries but also to those patients who otherwise may not be strongly motivated, such as the elderly, infants, and patients in need of nursing care," reads an abstract published by the journal Science Advances.

Universities play a critical role in developing medical breakthroughs. For a closer look at the latest developments don't miss 'Analytical Method Development and Validation for the Identification of Spiraeoside Using RP-HPLC in Pharmaceutical Gel Formulation'. It spotlights the latest Reversed-Phase High Performance Liquid Chromatographic (RP-HPLC) method, and concludes that identification of spiraeoside is specific and selective according to validation studies.

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