Diabetes: Patch That Can Replace Injections

Diabetes: Patch That Can Replace Injections

This is a smart patch for people with diabetes that could well replace the injections that are used today. It must be recognized that although it is not yet definitive only the idea of ​​being able to use a patch instead of having to inject daily is already optimistic and good, it is much less painful and less complicated to use than injections.

Remember that there are 380 million diabetics worldwide dependent on insulin. And they need to use insulin injections, something a bit complex to have to do seven days a week and forever. That’s why researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Carolina State have developed a beta-cell patch, that is, pancreas cells that healthy people naturally secrete in adequate amounts of insulin, the hormone they Metabolizes sugars, and that in diabetic patients are not able to function as they should. The results obtained with the new smart patches have just been published in Advanced Material.

Diabetes: Patch That Can Replace InjectionsA patch loaded beta cells. The coin-sized smart parch cell is a material commonly used in the cosmetic and diagnostic industry and is covered with a layer of hundreds of tiny needles filled with thousands of beta cells stored in alginate microcapsules, Biocompatible polymer.

When the patch (which until today is used only in laboratory mice with type 1 diabetes giving effective results for 10 hours) is applied to the skin, the microneedles penetrate the capillaries by establishing a contact between the internal environment and the cells Beta. Thanks to the glucose signal amplifiers (which are blood sugar-sensitive chemicals) contained in microscopic synthetic vesicles, beta cells in the patch can “notice” the level of glucose in the blood, and then respond “on demand “, Releasing the insulin properly.

The previous model. Before this patch, last year another patch model with a so-called smart insuline patch had come out. The results of this result were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The difference is that the previous patch contained insulin vesicles and this new patch has beta cells and also integrates the needles directly with the beta cells in real time.

This new approach, which uses beta cells from outside the body, avoids both rejection problems and the side effects that have occurred to date in studies that were given to try to help people with diabetes. Studies that focused on  the transplantation of pancreatic cells producing insulin.

“Our study offers a possible solution to the rejection problem that has plagued the field of pancreatic cell transplants for so long,” said Gu Zhen, lead author of the study and a professor in the department of biomedical engineering at North Carolina State.

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