A team of researchers has developed a new method, lined with painless microneedles loaded with insulin, in an effort to replace the technique of delivering insulin to type 1 diabetics through uncomfortable and sometimes painful injections. This special patch stimulates the body’s own insulin production.
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates around 371 million people in the world suffer from diabetes. That makes this new patch a very welcomed idea, and its easier delivery method may mean more people get treated and prevent diabetes-related conditions such as heart attacks and amputations.
This four-centimeter-long patch, lined with over 100 eyelash-sized needles, could not only deliver the same amount of insulin as a regular-sized needle but also be tailored to contain glucose-sensing enzymes, which could identify when a patient’s blood sugar levels are elevated and release insulin into the bloodstream accordingly.
In this new research, the scientists created the special patch which stimulates the body’s own insulin production and is completely pain-free. This game-changing invention delivers a natural substance extracted from brown algae – completely removing the need for painful and unpleasant daily injections.
Patients would apply the patch once in 7 days and it would automatically stimulate the body to produce the required insulin. The patch works by delivering the substance through microneedles.
The patch is fast-acting and easy to use, and it’s also made from nontoxic, biocompatible materials, making it more environmentally sustainable than the injection system as well.
Furthermore, the whole system can be personalized to account for a diabetic’s weight and sensitivity to insulin, and the smart patch can even get smarter.
This approach could be a way to take advantage of the fact that persons with type 2 diabetes can still produce some insulin, and a weekly microneedle patch application would also be less complicated and painful than methods that require frequent blood testing.
It is believed that more conclusive information regarding this new method would soon be out.
Categories: Medical Condition