The pill that
could be the end of needles.
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara could possibly lead a
break through mission to a new innovative way of blood sugar management.
Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease of suffer from a stroke than people without diabetes. High blood glucose in adults with diabetes increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, Angina and coronary artery disease.
This incredible and
very promising research was brought about by Professor Samir Mitragotri, a
member of the department of chemical engineering who specializes in targeted
drug delivery systems. “With diabetes, a tremendous need for oral
administration is needed”. With diabetes many people are required to take a
dose of insulin several times a day, via injection. A lot of these people are
uncomfortable with injections and this leads to a major issue.
In the USA alone
there are about 29 million of diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes cases. Many of
these people require daily injections to regulate the amount of insulin in
their body to control the blood sugar. According to Amrita Banejree, a post
doctoral researcher who is part of Mitagori’s team mentioned “The discomfort of
using injections poses a threat which can lead to mismanagement of treatment
and complications that could hospitalization,” she said.
reason why oral delivery is better than via injection,” added Mitragotri, “oral
delivery takes a more direct route than the injection and from a physiological
point of view is a better method to follow”.
Despite being a great idea, a few hiccups raised up to
the surface to become a major obstacle for the team, which was how to get the
tablet safely past the harsh environment of the stomach without losing its
effectiveness. A combination of enteric-coated capsules and insulin-loaded
mucoadhesive polymer patches were optimized by Banerjee as part of her study.
The result proved to be promising being damaged in any way and being able to release
the contents in the small intestine. In the small intestine, the capsule wall
breaks and the adhesive patches are released. The way the insulin is released
to the blood is quite simple, the adhesive patches stick to the wall of the
small intestine disallowing the proteolytic enzymes access to the insulin dose,
and with the help of a permeation enhancer, and the insulin passes through into
announced,” this is the first essential step in showing that these patches can
deliver insulin, but like any other form of therapy it has to undergo further
testing and improvement before it can be considered a viable treatment for
Taking a closer look
at the words of the team and the published results, this method looks to be
promising and opening up a new world in the pharmaceutical technology field by
unlocking the main door to currently injected proteins and hormones, to become
an easy edible capsule that doesn’t require sticking needles numerous times in