A scientific team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States has developed a drug capsule that can deliver oral doses of insulin that will replace the injections that people with type 2 diabetes should take each day.
Ca. The size of a cranberry contains the capsule a small needle made of compressed insulin which is injected after the capsule reaches the stomach. In animal experiments, the researchers showed that they could administer sufficient insulin to reduce blood sugar to levels comparable to those produced by injections delivered through the skin. They also showed that the device can be adapted for administration of other protein drugs.
"We are very much hoped that this new type of capsule one day will help diabetic patients and perhaps everyone who requires therapy that can now only be given by injection or infusion," says one of the study's lead authors, Robert Langer, Professor at Koch Institute and member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.
Another of the main authors of the study is Giovanni Traverso, Assistant Professor at Brigham and Women & # 39; s Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine and Visiting Researcher at the Department of Mechanics at MIT, where he started as a faculty member. in 2019. The first author of the article, published in the journal & # 39; Science & # 39; is MIT student Alex Abramson. The research team also includes researchers from the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk.
Several years ago, Traverso, Langer and their colleagues developed a pill that was covered by many small needles that could be used to inject drugs into the shape of the stomach or small intestine. For the new capsule, the researchers designed to have a single needle that allowed them to avoid injecting substances into the stomach where the gastric acids would break down before they had an effect.
The needle tip is made of almost 100 percent freeze-dried and compressed insulin. The needle's axis, which does not enter the stomach of the stomach, is made of another biodegradable material. Inside the capsule, the needle is attached to a compressed spring held in place by a sugar disc. When the capsule is swallowed, the water in the stomach dissolves the sugar disc, releases the spring and injects the needle into the stomach of the stomach.
The stomach wall has no analgesic receptors, so patients could not feel the injection. To ensure that the drug is injected into the stomach, the researchers designed their system so that no matter how the capsule falls into the stomach, it can be oriented so that the needle comes into contact with the mouth lining. The scientists were inspired by the leopard turtle, which is common in Africa, and which has a steep car capacity that makes it possible to adjust if it falls on its back.
When the needle tip is injected into the abdominal wall, insulin dissolves at a rate that scientists can control. In the study, it took about one hour for the entire insulin to be released into the bloodstream. They have been able to increase the dose injected to 5 milligrams, the amount that a patient with type 2 diabetes would have to inoculate daily.