The administration of insulin is predominantly done via intravenous ways to ensure the maximum bioavailability of the same in the body. While the process isn’t necessarily rocket science, it is not a tough nut to crack as well. A new study has paved way for a new milestone in the field of treatment.
A new study(R) conducted by the researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a drug capsule which is believed to help administer the insulin in a much more efficient way, replacing the use of insulin injections that majority of the Type-1 Diabetic patients tend to use on a daily basis.
The capsule is about the size of a blueberry and does contain a compressed insulin needle which is injected into the stomach once it reaches the stomach. In the conducted pre-clinical trials, they found that capsule did deliver enough insulin to lower the levels of elevated blood sugar levels in the body effectively. The study did further find that the study could successfully be used to deliver other protein drugs as well.
Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, who is also one of the senior authors of the study would be helpful in helping the diabetic patients in the near future without having to worry about the injections and infusions altogether.
In a few prior studies conducted before, Traverso, Langer and few of the other colleagues did develop a pill with multiple needles around it that could be used to administer the necessary drugs into the lining of the stomach.
For this new capsule form, the researchers worked on inducing just one needle to ensure that the drug is administered carefully into the lining and not into the interior of the stomach where it has the potency to be digested around with the gastric acids.
The tip of the needle is made of over 100 percent compressed and freeze dried insulin much like the process we do use while making the medicine. The shaft of the needle which doesn’t enter the stomach lining is made of a biodegradable compound which meshes around into the body and doesn’t imply negative impacts.
Inside the capsule, the needle is attached to a compressed spring which is held in its place with a disc of sugar. When the patient consumes the capsule, the water in the stomach dissolves the sugar disc and the spring is released which caused the needle to inject the medication into the stomach lining.
The stomach doesn’t contain any kind of pain receptors which is why the researchers believe that the patients won’t be able to feel any form of pain once the needle is injected. Additionally, the researchers have also designed the capsule in a way to ensure that no matter how the capsule lands in the stomach, it will have the capability to orient itself in a way to ensure that the same is in contact with the lining of the stomach.
Traverso suggested that it is important to ensure that as soon as you take the medicine, you want it to self right so as to ensure that it has contact with the tissue of the stomach.
Another researcher, Abramson suggested saying that what was important in this is to ensure that the needle is in contact with the tissue just after it reaches its destination. He further suggested that the capsules have been designed in a ways to ensure that even if the patient moves or their stomach growls; the same won’t impact the orientation of the capsule.
Easy administration of insulin
In this pre-clinical study with pigs, the researchers started off with the successful administration of 300 micrograms of insulin with these capsules. They were later able to increase the dosage to 5 milligrams which is typically the dosage that a type-1 diabetic patient requires for their health.
Following the work of the injection is done, the researchers also found that the remaining of the capsule is easily digested because of the fact that it is made out of a biodegradable polymer and stainless steel compounds together.
Maria José Alonso, a professor of biopharmaceutics and pharmaceutical technology at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain did describe this specific one as a rapidly evolving technology which could benefit a plethora of patients suffering from Type-1 diabetes.
Traverso stated saying that their main goal in this is to make the process of administration of insulin a lot easier and more streamlined for the patients. This will not just prove beneficial for the patients but will also cut down the associated risks that often meddle with the lives of several people alothether.