Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed insulin nanoparticles that may one day become the basis for an oral medicine, and an alternative to insulin injections for diabetic patients.
In a pre-clinical study, the NTU Singapore team fed insulin-containing nanoparticles to rats and found that insulin increased in their blood minutes later.
Insulin therapy is often an important part of treatment for diabetes, a metabolic disease that affects 422 million people globally . In Singapore, the number of diabetics is expected to grow to 1 million – almost a fifth of the population – in 2050 .
Delivering insulin orally would be preferable over insulin jabs for patients because it causes less pain than jabs, and could thus lead to improved patient compliance. But oral dosage remains a challenge. As insulin is a protein, it gets broken down in the gastrointestinal tract before it can even reach the bloodstream to regulate blood glucose.
Read full article at NTU Singapore
Photo credit: NTU Singapore