Daily injections of insulin administered to patients with diabetes could disappear in the future due to a capsule that releases insulin directly into the stomach, a technique that has been tested in pigs up to now.
Scientists at Brigham Hospital and Boston Women's Hospital produced a tablet composed of a biologically biodegradable chick-size capsule containing a micro-needle insulin.
When the capsule is once in the stomach, it dissolves and the needle is automatically injected, which is practically unnoticed for patients, as Giovanni Traverso, co-author of the study, says, as this body does not contain nerve fibers that receive pain.
In addition, an oral device, also called SOMA, is capable of self-care, thanks to its shape and density distribution, so that the micro-needle is properly injected into the stomach. Therefore, it does not matter how the tablet falls, it can always be orientated to keep in touch with the gastric wall.
The researchers were inspired to create SOMA for leopard turtles, an African type that can be settled if left on the back.
A study co-ordinated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has so far been carried out only with fasting pigs for the first time administered at doses of 0.3 mg and 5 mg of insulin, a similar amount. patients with type 2 diabetes.
Then, the researchers measured how much insulin was transmitted in the blood and glucose before and after the experiment. They observed a decrease in glucose levels, similar to injections, and did not detect damage to gastric tissue.
The aim of the study is that patients with diabetes are an alternative to injections that, despite efficacy, are effective, inadequate and increasingly expensive methods.
"Although we need to further explore, this could be a potential way to deliver a number of medicines", such as immunosuppressants to treat rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease, Traverso said.