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New Approach to Diabetes Based on Microneedle Smart Patch Insulin Delivery

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 02 Feb 2017
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Image: Tiny, painless microneedles on a patch can deliver insulin in response to rising glucose levels (Photo courtesy of the ACS).
Image: Tiny, painless microneedles on a patch can deliver insulin in response to rising glucose levels (Photo courtesy of the ACS).
A novel "microneedle smart patch" has been developed that was designed to automatically correct glucose imbalance in patients with type I or advanced type II diabetes.

An interdisciplinary team of investigators at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina designed a smart patch comprising microneedles made from block copolymer incorporated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) and phenylboronic ester (PBE)-conjugated polyserine.

The device, which integrated H2O2-responsive polymeric vesicles (PVs) with a transcutaneous microneedle-array patch, were loaded with the enzyme glucose oxidase (GOx) and insulin. The microneedles functioned as both moieties of the glucose sensing element (GOx) and the insulin release actuator to provide basal insulin release as well as promote insulin release in response to hyperglycemic states.

Results reported in the current study, which was published in the January 4, 2017, online edition of the journal ACS Nano, revealed that insulin release responded quickly to elevated glucose and that its kinetics could be modulated by adjusting the concentration of GOx loaded into the microneedles. Using a mouse diabetes model, the investigators showed that a single patch could regulate glucose levels effectively with reduced risk of hypoglycemia.

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