Most diagnosed cases of diabetes (75 to 85 percent) are classified as type 2, typically occurring later in life (hence its "adult-onset" title)-when the body stops producing enough insulin to meet the increased demands of weight gain.
Scientists at MIT have developed a new capsule that they say is capable of delivering insulin orally.
"So let's say a person was leaning over when the device was about to insert".
"I'm a gastroenterologist and we often give an injection in the stomach to treat ulcers or stop local bleeding", Dr C Giovanni Traverso of Brigham and Women's Hospital told DailyMail.com.
Next, the researchers measured how much insulin passed into the animals' blood and glucose levels before and after the experiment.More news: 'Wicked' Movie Gets a 2021 Premiere Date! | Wicked
"People would prefer the oral route over injections", he said.
According to MIT News, the tip of the needle is "made of almost 100 percent compressed, freeze-dried insulin, using the same process used to form tablets of medicine". The capsule is about the size of a blueberry. In the case of the capsule, the domed shape ensures that the needle is continually reoriented towards the stomach wall.
Lead author Alex Abramson, a Ph.D. student in the department of chemical engineering at MIT, said, "The system had to be self-orienting".
The problem has largely been that insulin, a biologic, doesn't survive in the stomach. So, they turned to an unlikely animal for inspiration: the leopard tortoise.More news: Warren: 'I Am a Candidate for President'
A leopard tortoise showing off its steep, high-rising shell. This allows it to right itself if it rolls onto its back. For the new capsule, the researchers changed the design to have just one needle, allowing them to avoid injecting drugs into the interior of the stomach, where they would be broken down by stomach acids before having any effect. To accomplish this, they loaded the insulin needle onto a compressed spring that's held in place by a sugar disk. The idea is that, once swallowed, water in the stomach dissolves the sugar, releasing the spring, and injecting the needle into the stomach wall.
The stomach wall has no pain receptors, so the researchers believe that patients would not be able to feel the injection. After the capsule releases its contents, it moves harmlessly through the digestive system.
Patients with type 1 diabetes can possibly replace daily injections with an oral insulin pill that will deliver the drug straight to the gut.
One problem scientist still face before bringing tiny injector to the masses: it now works best on an empty stomach, but they're still working on it.
The team are now carrying out further tests in pigs and dogs and hope to start the first human trials within three years.More news: Dana White says Conor McGregor could make UFC return against Donald Cerrone
"The way this works is it travels down the esophagus in seconds, it's in the stomach within a few minutes, and then you get the drug", said Traverso, who worked with a team from the lab of MIT inventor Robert Langer and insulin maker Novo Nordisk.