‘Insulin in a Pill’ Closer to Reality
Good news! Researchers have found a way to deliver insulin to rats via pill, avoiding a long standing problem of the hormone being destroyed by stomach acids. By using layers of nanomaterial the system was able to protect the insulin from the body’s digestive system, while simultaneously monitoring glucose levels to release the appropriate amount.
Diabetes, the 7th leading cause of death worldwide, has traditionally been treated with subcutaneous insulin injections throughout the day. This method would allow for a once-a-day orally administered pill that could make the treatment less invasive and more comfortable for diabetics.
There has already been several oral diabetes treatments that have been developed, and even approved by the FDA, but mainstream adoption and commercialization has not yet been achieved. Although oral insulin treatments have been attempted many times, they always encounter the same issue with the stomach’s digestive strength. This new method has enabled the delivery mechanism to bypass this troublesome step and release the insulin using glucose triggers. This allows for a time-release function of the insulin and creates a more effective treatment. This study was performed in rats so the team will be looking to improve on the mechanism and the chemistry to attempt human trials in the future.
Source: Academic Times