Diabetes can be a challenging disease. The continuation of medication and constant attention to lifestyle choices can be exhausting to many patients around the world who are increasingly being diagnosed. Maintaining control of blood glucose is the cornerstone of diabetes management as it is important in lowering the risk of diabetic complications such as diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy, and nephropathy.
Blood glucose can be managed with lifestyle improvements. Besides that, oral medications and insulin jabs are also prescribed to avoid hyperglycemia. Current standards of dulaglutide, the longest lasting treatment, has to be injected once a week while patients on the standard insulin use it every day. As technology progresses, new treatments are being innovated to help and raise patient compliance.
Published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, the authors of a paper are talking about a new biopolymer injection that could replace the frequent insulin shots and will only need to be given one to two times every month.
The new biopolymer option uses results from previous studies on a drug called Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) receptor agonists. Since this drug does not last long in the body, the scientists have looked for different ways to extend its viability in the human body. The upgraded GLP1 jab can be injected using a normal needle, releasing the active compound slowly and steadily without being associated with the usual highs and lows of GLP1 delivery into the system.
The optimized design has been tested in animal models and has been found to last more than 2 weeks after one use. It also showed good glucose maintenance along with a constant rate of drug released. The main author who is a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina stated that the team has managed to triple the duration of this drug, standing out from other designs.References
Paddock C. Type 2 diabetes: new biopolymer injection may offer weeks of glucose control. MedicalNewsToday. Accessed 6/6/2017.
Haridy R. Injectable polymer could cut insulin injections to one per month. New Atlas. Accessed 6/6/2017. http://newatlas.com/diabetes-monthly-injection-insulin-biopolymer/49903/
Once-a-month diabetes treatment may replace daily insulin jabs. HindustanTimes. Accessed 6/6/2017.
Biopolymer developed to reduce insulin injections for diabetics. Medical Plastics News. Accessed 6/6/2017.