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New treatment for type 2 diabetes, new drug capsules are expected to replace traditional drug injections

2019-02-15 来源:亚科官网

As a global public health problem, diabetes is particularly serious in China. In recent years, the number of people with diabetes has been rising. Diabetes has become another important chronic non-communicable disease that is seriously endangering the health of our people after cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases and cancer.

Recently, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Norwegian Novo Nordisk Company have developed a new strategy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body cannot effectively use the insulin produced. If left unchecked, it can cause serious damage to many systems of the human body over time, such as the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetic adults have a 2~3 fold increase in the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Treatment of type 2 diabetes

In a new study, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Norwegian Novo Nordisk developed a drug capsule that can be used to deliver oral insulin, potentially replacing Insulin injections. This capsule is about the size of a blueberry and contains a small needle made of compressed insulin. After the drug capsule reaches the stomach, insulin injection is performed through the small needle. In animal experiments, they confirmed that they were able to deliver enough insulin, and thus the lower blood sugar levels were comparable to the blood glucose levels lowered by skin injection. They also confirmed that the drug capsule is also suitable for delivery of other protein drugs.

Development of microneedle drug capsules

A few years ago, Traverso, Langer and colleagues developed a pill coated with many microneedles that could be used to inject drugs into the inner wall of the stomach or small intestine. For this new capsule, the researchers changed the design to just one needle, which allowed them to avoid injecting the drug into the stomach, where they would be broken down by stomach acid before any effects were produced. The needle tip of this needle is made of nearly 100% compressed lyophilized insulin in the same process as the tablet. The needle cylinder is made of another biodegradable material that does not enter the stomach wall.

Inside the capsule, the needle is attached to a compression spring, and a disc made of sugar holds the compression spring in place. When the capsule is swallowed, the aqueous solution in the stomach dissolves the sugar disk, releasing the compression spring and injecting the tip into the stomach wall.

Given that there are no pain receptors on the stomach wall, these researchers believe that patients cannot feel this type of injection. To ensure that the drug is injected into the stomach wall, they improve their system to ensure that no matter how the capsule enters the stomach, it is able to self-locate and bring the tip into contact with the stomach wall.

These researchers draw inspiration from the leopard tortoise's self-localization. The leopard tortoise is found in Africa, and its outer shell has a tall, steep dome that can self-adjust if it rises to the sky. They use computer modeling to provide this capsule with a variant of this shape that can be repositioned even in the dynamic environment of the stomach.

Once the tip is injected into the stomach wall, insulin dissolves at a rate that can control during the preparation of the capsule. In this new study, all insulin takes about an hour to be completely released into the bloodstream.

Easier for patients

In tests in pigs, the researchers found that they were able to successfully deliver up to 300 micrograms of insulin. Recently, they have been able to increase the insulin dose to 5 mg, which is comparable to the dose required for patients with type 2 diabetes.

After the capsule releases its contents, it can pass through the digestive system harmlessly. These researchers did not find any side effects of this capsule, which is made up of biodegradable polymers and stainless steel components.

These researchers are now further developing this technology and optimizing the manufacturing process of this capsule. They believe that this type of drug delivery may be suitable for any protein drug that must usually be injected, such as an immunosuppressive agent for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease. It may also be suitable for nucleic acids such as DNA and RNA.

Traverso said, "Our motivation is to make it easier for patients to take drugs, especially those need to be injected. A classic drug is insulin, but there are many other drugs."

Edited by Suzhou Yacoo Science Co., Ltd.