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Could a pill replace insulin injections for Diabetes treatment?

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Researchers are developing a new pill that administers insulin straight into the stomach wall. Could this mean that injections will soon be a thing of the past?

When type 2 diabetes develops, the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin. This is when doctors usually prescribe daily insulin injections to manage blood sugar levels.

Although, a phobia of needles has presented a significant barrier preventing those with type 2 diabetes from taking the insulin that they need.

Robert Langer, a professor at the Koch Institute for integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his colleagues are working to make the release of insulin into the bloodstream more flexible.

The research team developed a pioneering new pill design, it consists of a biodegradable capsule containing an insulin micro needle. When the pill is swallowed, the insulin is injected straight into the stomach wall.

The stomach lining does not have any pain receptors; therefore, the researchers believe that this method of delivering the drug will be pain free.

Langer states, “We are really hopeful that this new type of capsule could someday help diabetic patients and perhaps anyone who requires therapies that can now only be given by injection or infusion.”

Further experiments on the capsule system is ongoing. Langer and his colleagues are hopeful that this new pill could replace a host of drugs that are only available by injection.

 

Further Reading
1.) Poor medication adhere in type 2 diabetes: recognizing the scope of the problem and its key contributors. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966497/

2.) Robert S. Langer. Science + engineering= conquering cancer together: https://ki.mit.edu/people/faculty/langer