Radical Insulin Delivery Pill Inspired by Tortoise Shell

Radical Insulin Delivery Pill Inspired by Tortoise Shell

Daily insulin injections given to people with diabetes may disappear in the future thanks to a capsule that releases insulin directly into the stomach, a technique that has been tested so far in pigs, according to a report published by the "Science" journal.

The researchers have developed SOMA - these pea-sized capsules that contain a small needle that is made up of solid, compressed insulin.

That's why insulin - a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar - has to be delivered by injection.

They also demonstrated that the device can be adapted to "deliver other protein drugs".

Some years in the past, a bunch of MIT colleagues developed a pill that was coated with tiny needles that might be used to inject medication into the liner of the abdomen or the small gut.

Once the insulin was absorbed, the capsule, made of stainless steel and a biodegradable material, floated free and was excreted.

Kevin Durant Rips Media: "I Dont' Trust None Of Y'all"
Is that a problem? "I don't think about that type of stuff". "I didn't feel like talking the last couple days", Durant said. We talk all the time - just like I do with all the players. "Y'all come here every day and ask me about free agency".

The needle is spring-loaded - it is attached to a tiny compressed spring that's held in place by sugar. The sugar dissolves when it hits gastric juice, which releases the spring and injects the insulin into the stomach lining.

"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", senior author Dr Robert Langer, a member of MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research said in a press release. And ever since, researchers have been attempting to find ways to deliver insulin orally without any success. Once in the stomach the microneedle is decompressed causing the insulin to be injected into the lining of the stomach. "Our motivation is to make it easier for patients to take medication, particularly medications that require an injection", explained Traverso. They based their approach on a self-orientation aspect of the leopard tortoise, found in Africa. The leopard tortoise has an unusual shaped shell that looks like a high dome, if the tortoise rolls over, the shape of its shells ensures it can always easily self-right. The pill is a variant of its shape made using computer modelling since it allows the capsule to reorient itself in the stomach.

"What's important is that we have the needle in contact with the tissue when it is injected", Abramson", said.

Insulin itself is a peptide, a short chain of amino acids, and the researchers say their device could be used to deliver other kinds of peptides too, such as immunosuppressant ones used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. The insulin needle takes about an hour to dissolve into the bloodstream.

A team of scientists from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, MIT, and Novo Nordisk has discovered a new way to bring closer to the clinic an oral formation of insulin, which can be ingested instead of injected.

Other authors of the paper include Ester Caffarel-Salvador, Minsoo Khang, David Dellal, David Silverstein, Yuan Gao, Morten Revsgaard Frederiksen, Andreas Vegge, Frantisek Hubalek, Jorrit Water, Anders Friderichsen, Johannes Fels, Rikke Kaae Kirk, Cody Cleveland, Joy Collins, Siddartha Tamang, Alison Hayward, Tomas Landh, Stephen Buckley, Niclas Roxhed, and Ulrik Rahbek.

Related Articles