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Forget Insulin injections- with "Smart Insulin Patch"

Good news for Diabetic Type 1 & Type 2 diabetic patients requiring multiple insulin injections every day, relief is on its way. Soon a “Smart Insulin Patch” may be feasible which would painlessly deliver the required quantity to diabetic patients.

A smart Insulin patch has been developed by Diabetologist researchers in the University of North Carolina and NC in the United States of America, which is capable of delivering Insulin hormone directly into the body as per its requirement.

According to an article published in the journal Advanced Material – this small square patch consists of hundreds of microneedles of the size of eyelashes, which are filled with Insulin and Glucose sensing enzymes – which enable the release of required quantity of Insulin hormone, whenever blood glucose levels get elevated. This is a remarkable achievement as it solves two big problems which have been very difficult to address, this patch take cares of the Insulin delivery which till yet could have been done only through injections or insulin ports, which are still cumbersome, Dose calculation – which is not always feasible.

“We have designed a patch for diabetes that works fast, is easy to use, and is made from nontoxic, biocompatible materials,” said co-senior author Zhen Gu, PhD, a professor in the Joint UNC/NC State Department of Biomedical Engineering. Gu also holds appointments in the UNC School of Medicine, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and the UNC Diabetes Care Center. “The whole system can be personalized to account for a diabetic’s weight and sensitivity to insulin,” he added, “so we could make the smart patch even smarter.”

If this revolutionary development of “Smart Insulin Patch” becomes a reality and becomes easily accessible to , it would be of big relief to all Diabetics and even Diabetes specialists  who are treating such patients. Patients still have a great fear of Insulin injections and defer Insulin treatment till it is already too late and they start suffering from its complications.

The researchers at the University of North Carolina and NC State have created a 'smart insulin patch' that can detect the increased sugar level in blood and secrete doses of insulin into the bloodstream whenever needed. The results, published in the journal Advanced Material, reveals that this amazing research could provide a new ray of hope for the patients with Type-1 and advanced Type-2 diabetes who need monitor insulin levels constantly. The small square shaped patch is covered with hundreds of 'microneedles', each with the size of an eyelash. These needles are filled with microscopic storage units of insulin and glucose-sensing enzymes that automatically gets secreted whenever the blood sugar level gets too high. “We have designed a patch for diabetes that works fast, is easy to use, and is made from nontoxic, biocompatible materials,” said co-senior author, Ph.D., a professor in the Joint UNC/NC State Department of Biomedical Engineering. Beta cells are the unique pancreatic cell in a human body that makes, stores and regulates hormone insulin. In a person with diabetes, the number of these cells reduces dramatically.

The study points out that diabetes affects more than 387 million people worldwide, and that number is expected to grow to 592 million by the year 2035.

Most of the Diabetics are poorly controlled, due to delay in Insulin initiation or inadequate Insulin doses. Studies in India have shown that less than 30% of Type 2 Diabetics could achieve an adequate control of HbA1C. Such a smart treatment option would be a boon for all.

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