This new form of ‘smart’ insulin remains in the blood stream for 24 hours, and maintains blood sugar levels on its own. Which means no more finger pricks or insulin pens.
Researchers in the US have developed a new type of insulin that’s injected once a day into the blood-stream, and then is automatically activated only when a person’s blood sugar levels are high enough. This means a type 1 diabetes patient doesn’t need to worry about keep tabs on their condition throughout the day, because the ‘smart’ insulin has got it covered.
The new compound, called Ins-PBA-F, was developed by researchers at the University of Utah and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and has so far shown very positive outcomes in diabetic mice. The team was able to ensure that it remained in the blood stream for 24 hours by adding a molecule known as an aliphatic domain, which is made up of a long chain of fatty acids that dangle from the insulin molecule. This chain, the researchers think, links to a blood protein called albumin, which allows the insulin to be stored safely, without the risk of it accidentally linking to other sugar molecules in the blood.
And there it sits, until blood sugar levels hit a critical threshold, which causes it to be released so it can lower the amount of glucose back to safe levels. The team also added a chemical called PBA (Phenylboronic Acid) to their new insulin, which can not only attach to glucose molecules, but also detach again once the job is done. Via New self-administering ‘smart’ insulin could revolutionise diabetes treatment