Today, patients with diabetes still have to suffer the uncomfortable needle stick every time they need to take insulin. But these injections may have their days counted thanks to the use of insulin capsules. According to the latest news, the current method of administering insulin may soon become obsolete and discarded.
For some years now, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), in conjunction with other research and study centers, such as Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, has been investigating a sustainable and painless alternative for applying insulin.
The sketches of the project have finally seen the light. And now we know that what these engineers had been developing were oral insulin capsules with micro-needles. These capsules, once ingested and in the stomach, inject insulin directly into the walls of the stomach.
This product could benefit many of the 415 million people with diabetes worldwide.
Nearing one of the century’s most important medical breakthroughs
These insulin capsules for diabetes are still in the testing phase. However, the quality protocols we are working with allow us to think that it will be a very safe, practical and easy to use product.
By testing the capsule in pigs, scientists have been able to deliver up to 300 milligrams of insulin to the pig.
Subsequent attempts at higher doses have yielded positive results. This has even led to the application of up to 5 milligrams of insulin per capsule.
With this achievement, the insulin requirement of patients with type 1 diabetes is almost covered. Tests for treatment of type 2 diabetes are still in the preliminary phase.
Perhaps for some people the idea of having a micro-needle inside the stomach can cause distress or nerves. But in reality the technological advances that this capsule is going to provide have been studied for some time now.
In fact, the idea of creating an injection capsule is not new. An earlier project had already implemented a similar prototype. With a capsule that had multiple needles. Used to deliver medications into the thick layers of the stomach.
How the capsule is made
As far as the constitution of the small capsule is concerned (it barely reaches the dimensions of a blueberry). The needle of this medical instrument is made with almost 100% compressed insulin. The rest of the capsule is made from biodegradable materials that do not penetrate the walls of the stomach.
An interesting detail about the stomach is that the inner layers do not contain pain receptor sensors. So the sting needed to deliver the injection will not produce any physical pain.
Many people will be reassured to know that the odds of the needle fully injecting insulin are total. No matter how much the patient moves, the capsule will get where it needs to go.
The high degree of assertiveness of the injection has much to do with the orientation mechanism developed by the IMT researchers.
These professional engineers, imitating the shell of the leopard turtle. A shell that evolved to help your guest turn every time it’s not in the right direction. They have equipped this insulin capsule in a way that allows it to always maintain the proper position for the injection to be activated.
As planned, once the capsule’s internal device is activated, the insulin supply will automatically take place without problem. This process can take up to an hour to complete.