Breaking News
April 24, 2019 - Study finds involuntary staying in housing estates to be a potential health risk
April 24, 2019 - Older kidney disease patients starting dialysis die at higher rates than previously thought
April 24, 2019 - Time-restricted eating shows promise for controlling blood glucose levels
April 24, 2019 - Research provides important insight on the brain-body connection
April 24, 2019 - In 10 Years, Half Of Middle-Income Elders Won’t Be Able To Afford Housing, Medical Care
April 24, 2019 - Researchers study how E. coli clones have become major cause of drug-resistant infections
April 24, 2019 - Bacterial and fungal toxins found in popular electronic cigarettes
April 24, 2019 - Texting helps improve medication adherence, health outcomes for patients with schizophrenia
April 24, 2019 - Cochrane Review looks at different ways to use nicotine replacement therapies
April 24, 2019 - New review on relationship between COPD and Type 2 diabetes
April 24, 2019 - Brain areas linked to memory and emotion aid odor navigation in humans
April 24, 2019 - Brain stimulation reverses age-related memory loss
April 24, 2019 - Amid Opioid Prescriber Crackdown, Health Officials Reach Out To Pain Patients
April 24, 2019 - $4 million NIH award will help establish UCI Skin Biology Resource-based Center
April 24, 2019 - Cancer drugs reprogram genes in breast tumors to prevent endocrine resistance, finds study
April 24, 2019 - Combination-imaging technique provides new window into macaque brain connections
April 24, 2019 - Researchers identify new allergen responsible for allergy to durum wheat
April 24, 2019 - Researchers define role of rare, influential cells in the bone marrow
April 24, 2019 - DNA rearrangement may predict poor outcomes in multiple myeloma
April 24, 2019 - FDA Approves Skyrizi (risankizumab-rzaa) for Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis
April 24, 2019 - Combination therapy might be beneficial in schizophrenia
April 24, 2019 - Blood test can help match cancer patients to early phase clinical trials
April 24, 2019 - Women tend to underreport snoring and underestimate its loudness
April 24, 2019 - Comprehensive molecular test introduced for diagnosis of malaria caused by P. vivax parasites
April 24, 2019 - New range prediction approach increases accuracy, safety and tolerability of proton therapy
April 24, 2019 - Need for Sedation Up for Regular Cannabis Users
April 24, 2019 - Lack of access to antibiotics is a major global health challenge
April 24, 2019 - New study provides better understanding on safety of deworming programs
April 24, 2019 - EEG used to detect impact of maternal stress on neurodevelopment in 2-month-old infants
April 24, 2019 - FDA Approves First Generic Naloxone Nasal Spray Against Opioid Overdose
April 24, 2019 - A new way of finding compounds that prevent aging
April 24, 2019 - Mechanical training makes synthetic hydrogels perform more like muscle
April 24, 2019 - Study provides new insights into regulatory T cells’ role in protecting against autoimmune disease
April 24, 2019 - Pregnant women with type 1 diabetes are at greater risk of preterm birth
April 24, 2019 - ‘Tummy tuck’ can be safely performed in obese patients with no increase in complications
April 23, 2019 - ‘First’ 3-D print of heart with human tissue, vessels unveiled
April 23, 2019 - Which blood-based method works best to detect TB?
April 23, 2019 - Gene therapy cures infants suffering from ‘bubble boy’ immune disease
April 23, 2019 - Chemical-sampling wristbands detect similar exposures across three continents
April 23, 2019 - Management of Residual Limb Pain
April 23, 2019 - Molecular clock influences immune cell responses
April 23, 2019 - On the importance of culture, partnerships and diversity at the Dean’s Lecture Series
April 23, 2019 - Siddhartha Mukherjee Receives Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing About Science
April 23, 2019 - Dengue mosquito poses greatest danger of spreading Zika virus in Australia
April 23, 2019 - Scientists identify 104 high-risk genes for schizophrenia
April 23, 2019 - Abdominal etching can help patients to get classic ‘six-pack abs’ physique
April 23, 2019 - Alvogen Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Fentanyl Transdermal System Due to Product Mislabeling
April 23, 2019 - Skype hypnotherapy is effective treatment for IBS
April 23, 2019 - The future hope of “flash” radiation cancer therapy
April 23, 2019 - Bicycling, Recycling, and Beyond: Public Safety to Host Shred Fest and Bike-to-Campus Day 
April 23, 2019 - Skipping breakfast linked with increased risk of death from heart disease
April 23, 2019 - Neuroscientists propose new theory about amyloid precursor protein connection in Alzheimer’s
April 23, 2019 - Mediterranean diet protects against overeating and obesity
April 23, 2019 - NUS scientists uncover novel biomarkers linked with ‘chemobrain’
April 23, 2019 - Novel ECCITE-seq technique expands multimodal single cell analysis
April 23, 2019 - Half of all American workplaces offer health and wellness programs
April 23, 2019 - Hypnosis may offer a genuine alternative to painkillers
April 23, 2019 - Sleep loss greatly interferes with job performance
April 23, 2019 - Study shows how elderberry fruit can help fight against influenza
April 23, 2019 - Parkinson’s sufferers regain mobility with new implant
April 23, 2019 - Perinatal Complications Tied to Childhood Social Anxiety
April 23, 2019 - Research reveals how immune cells help tumors escape body’s defenses
April 23, 2019 - UAB receives $17 million grant to explore immune cells in inaccessible tissues of the human body
April 23, 2019 - Opening blocked arteries may be lifesaver for older heart attack patients
April 23, 2019 - Yposkesi chairman to speak on ‘Manufacturing and the CDMO Perspective’ at Cell and Gene Meeting
April 23, 2019 - Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli Meats, Cheeses in 4 States
April 23, 2019 - Scientists find another way HIV can hide from vaccines
April 23, 2019 - Improved WIC food packages reduced obesity risk for children, study finds
April 23, 2019 - EU ban on ‘meaty’ names for veggie food products would affect public sector
April 23, 2019 - KNAUER self-tests gender pay gap one month after Equal Pay Day
April 23, 2019 - Johns Hopkins study reports overdiagnosis of schizophrenia
April 23, 2019 - New approach to repair defects in fetal membranes could prevent life-long medical conditions
April 23, 2019 - Reviving the heart’s regenerative capacities using microRNAs
April 23, 2019 - New pediatric blood pressure guidelines can better predict kids at higher risk of heart disease
April 23, 2019 - Second HIV remission patient rekindles cure hope
April 23, 2019 - Sparse Treatment Options Complicate Cancer Care For Immigrants In South Texas
April 23, 2019 - Hole-forming protein could help control cancer growth
April 23, 2019 - Study examines factors associated with low use of hearing aids among older Hispanic/Latino adults
April 23, 2019 - Changes to Medicare rules could support care innovation for dialysis
April 23, 2019 - Cancer patients requiring emergency department care have better outcomes at original hospital
High-Tech Capsule Could One Day Replace Insulin Injections

High-Tech Capsule Could One Day Replace Insulin Injections

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 — For people with type 2 diabetes, could the days of having to jab themselves with a needle whenever they need insulin be over?

It’s now a distinct possibility, say researchers who have developed a capsule that can deliver insulin once it reaches the stomach. The new device has only been tested in animals so far, and such findings don’t always pan out in humans, but the scientists say the results look promising.

“If you try to deliver insulin orally, the acid and enzymes [in the digestive system] break up the proteins,” explained senior study author Dr. Giovanni Traverso. He’s from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the department of mechanical engineering at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.

That’s why insulin — a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar — has to be delivered by injection. But Traverso said that people with type 2 diabetes often delay beginning treatment with insulin because of the discomfort and stigma attached to insulin injections.

“People would prefer the oral route over injections,” he said.

To try to meet this challenge, the researchers developed a capsule that contains a small needle that’s made of compressed insulin. The capsule is about the size of a blueberry.

When the device reaches the stomach, the capsule reorients itself and injects the insulin into the lining of the stomach.

Lead author Alex Abramson, a Ph.D. student in the department of chemical engineering at MIT, said, “The system had to be self-orienting. The stomach is a large space and there’s no guarantee where it will land.”

So, the researchers borrowed “technology” from the leopard tortoise, found in Africa. The animal’s shell has a high, steep dome. This allows it to right itself if it rolls onto its back.

The researchers also had to make sure the capsule had a chance to right itself before the injection occurred. To accomplish this, they loaded the insulin needle onto a compressed spring that’s held in place by a sugar disk. The sugar disk takes 5.5 minutes to dissolve, according to Abramson.

Once it dissolves, the insulin needle is injected into the stomach lining. There are no pain receptors in the stomach, so the injection shouldn’t hurt, the researchers noted.

After the capsule has delivered its contents, the remains pass harmlessly through the digestive system.

Tests in pigs have shown the device is able to successfully deliver insulin in the same quantities that people with type 2 diabetes would typically take.

The researchers also looked at the stomach tissue where the insulin was injected and saw no signs of damage or abnormalities. They also didn’t see any changes in the way the pigs ate or in their stool patterns.

Traverso said the researchers will continue the animal experiments and are hoping to test the insulin capsule in humans in approximately three years. In addition to insulin, he said that the capsule system could likely be used to deliver drugs for other diseases.

Endocrinologist Dr. Minisha Sood is from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and was not part of the study. “This technology is something I never imagined would be possible. Thus far, it’s only been tested in animals, but it’s a proof-of-concept study that is promising, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this pans out in human trials,” she said.

“Making oral insulin available will dramatically improve the options for people with diabetes — it would be life-changing,” Sood explained. Currently, she added, people with diabetes who need to be on insulin often have a delay of seven to 10 years before they begin insulin therapy. Having to inject insulin is one of the main reasons for this delay, she said.

The capsule system was developed by a team of researchers from MIT, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and insulin manufacturer Novo Nordisk.

The study was published Feb. 7 in the journal Science.

More information

Learn more by watching this video from the researchers on the insulin pill.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: February 2019

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles