There are millions of people, who suffer from type 2 diabetes and many of them depend on insulin needles. A new capsule that releases insulin can prove to be a replacement for injections for patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. Taking everyday injections might soon be a thing of the past and the latest discovery can be a blessing for such patients. A research team led by MIT has developed a drug capsule that can be used to deliver oral doses of insulin as a means of potentially replacing the injections.
The medicine is the size of a blueberry and the capsule contains a small needle with compressed insulin. It is injected when the capsule reaches the stomach. The researchers conducted initial tests and it was found that they could deliver enough insulin to lower the blood sugar levels that can be compared to those produced by skin injections. It was also demonstrated that the device can be adapted to deliver other protein drugs.
Robert Langer, the member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and one of the senior authors of the study said, “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”. Many years back, a group of MIT member had developed a pill that was coated with tiny needles that could be used to inject drugs in to the lining of the stomach or the small intestine.
In the new capsule, the researchers changed the design and have just one needle while allowing them to inject the drugs in to the interior of the stomach, where they could be broken down with the help of stomach acids before having any effect. The tip of the needle is made of about 100 percent compressed and freeze dried insulin with the same process used to form tablets of medicine.
Photo Credits: Medical Xpress