Painless Smart Patch for Diabetes Control, Insulin Delivery

New details have been released by the scientists who are developing the painless “smart” patch that monitors blood sugar levels and releases insulin when needed.

Photo of How Smart Patch for Diabetes Works
Tiny, painless microneedles on a patch can deliver insulin in response to rising glucose levels.

Treatment for certain diabetes cases involves constant monitoring of blood-glucose levels and daily insulin shots. But scientists are now developing a painless “smart” patch that monitors blood glucose and releases insulin when levels climb too high.

The report on the device, which has been tested on mice, appears in the journal ACS Nano.

People with Type 1 diabetes don’t make insulin — a hormone that regulates blood glucose, or sugar. Those with Type 2 diabetes can’t use insulin effectively. Either way, glucose builds up in the blood, which can lead to a host of health problems, including heart disease, stroke, blindness and amputation of toes, feet or legs.

To avoid these outcomes, people with Type 1 or advanced Type 2 diabetes regularly prick their fingers to measure blood-sugar levels, and some patients must inject themselves with insulin when needed.

But sometimes, despite a person’s vigilance, glucose levels can still get out of whack. Zhen Gu and colleagues wanted to come up with a simpler, more effective, shot-free way to manage diabetes.

The researchers developed a skin patch covered in painless microneedles that are loaded with tiny insulin-carrying pouches. The pouches are engineered to break apart rapidly and release the insulin in response to rising glucose levels.

Diabetic mice wearing the patch maintained consistent concentrations of insulin in their blood. When these mice received a shot of glucose, their blood sugar levels spiked initially, but then fell to normal levels within two hours.

The authors acknowledge funding from the American Diabetes Association, National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

The abstract that accompanies this study is available here: H2O2-Responsive Vesicles Integrated with Transcutaneous Patches for Glucose-Mediated Insulin Delivery

Source: American Chemical Society
Journal: ACS Nano

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I have type 1 on insulin since 11 yrs old and have shot the hell out of myself for only 52 years now and would love to have it if it works.I don’t sit on my ass and get fat is why I ‘m okay my c-peptide level is 00000.1 and A1C is pretty good at 6.6 now. Help yourself and eat a bunch of lettuce before meals and check your blood sugar at least 10 times a day too

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