Researchers Develop Insulin Patch of Beta Cells To Diabetes

health monitorDiabetes has proven to be a disease that’s very difficult to manage. With treatments usually of the injectible or more invasive types, researchers are looking for a more convenient means of treatment. But current alternatives are just not that effective. But researchers from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University have developed a patch that may provide a promising and non-invasive alternative for those who suffer from type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The researchers have come up with a proof-of-concept patch that will enable insulin producing beta cells in a patch to deliver insulin doses when users need it. The so-called “smart polymeric patch” is made out of thin polymeric squares affixed with tiny needles that may look like a miniature bed of nails. Instead of the small needles being filled with insulin, the researchers filled it with natural beta cells, which can also produce insulin that will be able to control the blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Researchers have tried many times to utilize the body’s beta cells as potential treatment for diabetes. But there have been certain challenges that led to several failures. It is only at this point that researchers have been able to present a proof of concept through an insulin patch how beta cells can help treat diabetes. Beta cells are small insulin-producing cells that do not work properly among diabetes patients. The developed patch contain these cells that produce the insulin. When applied to animals with diabetes, the patch was able to regulate blood sugar levels without the added physiological risks such as inducing hypoglycemia.

The researchers believe in the potential of this technology. Their test in mice models indicate that the smart insulin patch does not affect the lowering of blood sugar levels further. It just seems to regulate the sugar up to a certain level and then taper off. Researchers further tested the effect of using a new smart insulin patch on the same test models immediately after the first one. It did not cause the blood sugar levels of the diabetic mice any further. Instead the second patch was able to extend the effect of blood regulation  are now planning to move on testing the smart insulin patch for several hours.

While the new smart patch technology for treating diabetes may still require several human and clinical trials in order to be approved, the researchers believe that this concept is showing great promise and may be set to be a welcome alternative that is less invasive and yet just as effective.

Source: Science Daily


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