Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
JIB
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING

Biodegradable Nanoparticles Maintain Glucose Balance in Mouse Diabetes Model

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 30 May 2013
Image: Senior author Dr. Daniel G. Anderson (Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Image: Senior author Dr. Daniel G. Anderson (Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Diabetes researchers have developed an acid-degradable polymeric "nanonetwork" made up of nanoparticles loaded with insulin that can detect elevated glucose levels in the blood of diabetics and then release the hormone to return glucose levels to normal.

Investigators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, USA) adapted nanotechnology techniques that they had developed for anticancer drug delivery to address the problem of maintaining the glucose balance in diabetes patients.

They prepared a gel-like structure containing a mixture of oppositely charged nanoparticles that by attracting each other could maintain the integrity of the gel and prevent individual nanoparticles from becoming detached. Each nanoparticle was a dextran sphere containing insulin and an enzyme capable of converting glucose to gluconic acid. The structure of the dextran sphere allowed glucose to diffuse freely, so when sugar levels in the blood were elevated, the enzyme produced large quantities of gluconic acid, lowering the pH of the local environment. The acidic environment caused the dextran spheres to disintegrate, releasing insulin into the bloodstream.

The nanoparticle gel was tested in a Type I diabetes mouse model. Results published in the May 2, 2013, online edition of the journal ACS Nano revealed that a single subcutaneous injection of the gel corrected glucose imbalance and maintained normal blood-sugar levels in the animals for an average of 10 days. As the particles were mostly composed of polysaccharides, they were biocompatible and eventually degraded in the body.

“Insulin really works, but the problem is people do not always get the right amount of it. With this system of extended release, the amount of drug secreted is proportional to the needs of the body,” said senior author Dr. Daniel Anderson, associate professor of chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Related Links:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Diagram illustrates the innovative process that could lead to more effective drugs against influenza infection (Photo courtesy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

Researchers Show How the Influenza Virus Blocks Natural Killer Cell Recognition

A team of molecular virologists has described how the influenza virus evolved a defense mechanism to protect it from attack by the immune system's natural killer (NK) cells. The recognition of pathogen-infected... Read more

Therapeutics

view channel
Image: Liver cells regenerated in mice treated with a new drug (right) compared with a control group (center) after partial liver removal. Healthy liver cells are shown at left (Photo courtesy of Marshall et al, 2014, the Journal of Experimental Medicine).

New Drug Triggers Liver Regeneration After Surgery

Investigators have revealed that an innovative complement inhibitor decreases complement-mediated liver cell death, and actually stimulates postsurgery liver regrowth in mice. Liver cancer often results... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Genome-Wide Mutation-Searching Computational Software Designed for Genomic Medicine

Analysis software cross-references a patient’s symptoms with his genome sequence to help physicians in the diagnosis of disease. This software was created by a team of scientists from A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), led by Dr. Pauline Ng. The research findings were published August 3, 2014, in the journal... Read more

Business

view channel

Partnership Established to Decode Bowel Disease

23andMe (Mountain View, CA,USA), a personal genetics company, is collaborating with Pfizer, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), in which the companies will seek to enroll 10,000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a research project designed to explore the genetic factors associated with the onset, progression, severity,... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.