Scientists from New York University have created nanocapsules with which insulin can be taken orally. The development is undergoing clinical trials.
As experts explain, the new insulin capsules are not destroyed during digestion but penetrate into the bloodstream, where they begin to interact with glucose.
The capsules are made of nanoparticles, which, in turn, are composed of metal-organic scaffolds (MOF). These are polymeric materials that are similar in structure to a honeycomb and consist of metal ions and various organic compounds. Due to this, they are distinguished by high porosity and strength.
Upon entering the bloodstream, the particles gradually dissolve as their organic components begin to interact with glucose and other sugars. That is, the more glucose in the blood, the more insulin is released from the capsules.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. Its main action is the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. If it is not produced enough or the tissues of the body stop responding to its action, then diabetes mellitus of the first or second type develops.
First, the scientists tested the nanoparticles in a test tube using a glucose solution. In an experiment on diabetic rats, insulin-loaded nanoparticles were able to normalize rodents’ sugar levels for 10 hours.
The developers hope that if the trials are successfully completed, people with diabetes will refuse traumatic injections.