Study working on insulin capsules
Researchers in Birmingham are working on a project to create a system which delivers insulin automatically.
Smart capsules, which aim to travel through the body and release insulin upon coming across high levels of blood sugar, are being developing by team at the University of Birmingham.
They have discovered molecules which binds to glucose and now plan to build a shell containing insulin, which melts away when in contact with sugar.
Scientists believe the research, part funded by JDRF, to create the capsule could be ready for animal trials within five years.
Dr John Fossey, a senior lecturer in the school of chemistry at Birmingham, who is leading the project, said: “Imagine if patients could go through a week without having to worry about their blood sugar levels, or injecting themselves.
“I’ve talked to the parents of kids with type one diabetes and they say, if only my children could do things, like go to sleepovers, their lives would be so much better. Most parents aren’t confident enough to entrust injections to other adults.
“We’re trying to create a system which will deliver insulin in response to glucose levels, releasing more if blood sugar is high.
“We can now recognise glucose in the body and my proposal is to take the same chemistry, take these molecules and build a container for insulin which will break open when it comes across glucose and deliver its cargo.
“The a patient could be injected with these containers, say once a week, and they would slowly degrade in the presence of glucose to keep blood sugar at a constant level.”