Skin Patch might be the future of treating Diabetes

diabetic patch

Innovation in the world of diabetes, scientist have invented synthetic pancreatic that automatically releases insulin once it detected high blood sugar in the body. According to Senior author Zhen Gu, a professor in biomedical engineering at both universities, and team hope that one day, the cells could be used in a noninvasive skin patch to treat diabetes.

In a study conducted over a mouse, only a small dose of synthetic beta patch is needed to control the blood sugar of a mouse for five days. Diabetes is a disease that develops in the body if you tend to intake too much sweets. Apparently, in time, your pancreas can’t take it anymore and that is when diabetes starts.  The pancreases produces the hormone called insulin, which converts blood sugar into energy.

The pancreas can be found behind the stomach and it is responsible for producing insulin for the body.  It produces enough insulin for the body according to how much dose is needed by the body. There is no need to calculate it since it is automatic as if, the pancreas knows what the body needed.  In the United States alone, an estimated of 6 million people are suffering from diabetes.   Currently, insulin are administer to the body through pumps and injection.

There has been many attempts to find a way to administer insulin in the body automatically, but it has lots of problem.  They even attempt to make it into a pill, which could be swallowed by the patient, but insulin can’t reach the bloodstream that way.

Aside from injecting insulin to the body, another way that that people can combat diabetes is a transplanted pancreatic cell. Again, this is risky since the body might not accept the new organ and it would seize to function.  Also, only a few people would be willing to donate their organ to another person.

In their study paper, the scientists explain that biological engineers have made several attempts to “recreate the key functions” of pancreatic beta cells for therapeutic purposes. They give examples, such as nanoparticles cloaked in cell membranes and microgels that slowly release drugs.

Synthetic cells

There has been attempt to create a beta cells is their “single-compartment” structure and their “relatively passive” way of interacting with the biology of the body, but again, it is a losing cause since none of the experiments were able to “mimic the higher-order functions” of the natural beta cells whose sophisticated systems “can precisely sense the external environment, make internal decisions, and trigger feedback.”

“To our knowledge,” note the authors, “this synthetic system is the first of its kind that can sense glucose levels and readily secrete insulin through vesicle-fusion-mediated behavior.” So far, the scientist were able to test to test the synthetic system in mice.

“The mice went from hyperglycemic to normoglycemic within an hour,” Prof. Gu explains, “and they remained normoglycemic for up to 5 days after that.”

The team wants to develop a, skin patch that can be deliver enough insulin automatically delivers insulin into the bloodstream.