Image credits the lab of Zhen Gu, Ph.D
A super smart insulin patch could be available to diabetics very soon, alleviating the need for multiple injections per day.
Many diabetics suffer the daily discomfort of having to inject frequently and often this can cause painful irritation and inflammation to the skin. But that could all be about to change, as researchers from the University of North Carolina and NC State have developed a smart insulin patch, loaded with insulin and glucose-sensing enzymes, stored in microscopic units, that diabetics can simply place on their skin.
Over 100 tiny painless needles penetrate the skin and its clever design can monitor blood sugar levels and release insulin when levels are heightened. The patch mimics the body’s beta cells, which not only store and produce insulin; they also monitor the body’s blood sugar levels and send signals for the insulin to be released when needed.
Co-senior author Zhen Gu said "We have designed a patch for diabetes that works fast, is easy to use, and is made from nontoxic, biocompatible materials. The whole system can be personalized to account for a diabetic's weight and sensitivity to insulin, so we could make the smart patch even smarter."
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