Indian-origin researchers working in US are at the end of developing a novel insulin pill that can provide a painless and more effective blood sugar management option to people suffering from diabetes.
"With diabetes, there's a tremendous need for oral delivery," said Samir Mitragotri, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "People take insulin several times a day and delivery by needles is a big challenge," said Mitragotri, who specialises in targeted drug delivery.
The discomfort of injections can pose is a huge barrier to compliance, said Amrita Banerjee, a postdoctoral researcher in the Mitragotri Lab. She added that, "It can lead to mismanagement of treatment and complications that may lead to hospitalization."
When you deliver insulin by injection, it goes first through the peripheral bloodstream and then to blood circulation in the liver," Mitragotri said. Oral delivery would take a more direct route, he added, and, from a physiological point of view, a better one. "This is the first essential step in showing that these patches can deliver insulin," Mitragotri said.
A pill that delivers insulin remains a highly sought goal of diabetes medicine. The key is a combination of enteric-coated capsules and insulin-loaded mucoadhesive polymer patches that were optimized. The new pill has demonstrated its ability to survive stomach acids with the protection of the enteric-coated capsule and deliver its payload to the small intestine. The capsule opens up to release the patches that will adhere to the intestinal wall, preventing access of proteolytic enzymes to insulin and with the aid of a permeation enhancer, depositing insulin that can pass through to the blood.
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