May 17, 2013

Smarter Gel to Regulate Glucose for 10 Days


gelNanotechnology could remove the finger prick from the daily routine of people with diabetes with an injectable gel that monitors blood-sugar levels and automatically secretes insulin. An MIT news release brought a smile to my face.

I won’t lie. The excitement of SmartCells glucose-sensitive insulin was too good to be true. When Merck & Co stepped up and acquired the company, the insulin-dependent diabetes world heard crickets. Now there may be some noise coming from the backyard of MIT.

This is a new and improved approach on insulin. In fact, this is the glucose sensitive insulin that fell off the grid. An injection given once every 10 days could conceivably regulate glucose levels  by releasing insulin when needed.

Today, the margin of error in glucose management is shaky, at best. The object of the game in diabetes management is testing blood glucose, dosing insulin to regulate glucose levels, which requires impossibly accurate precision to ensure the see-saw is balanced.

Oh yeah, insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, glucose sensitivity, and unnamed extraneous stressors can blunt or spike your glucose levels. Have fun with that.

The study published in ACS Nano  gives a sneak peek into the marvels of science happening, once again, inside the borders of Mass. Let’s hope that this Boston strong approach sets the bar higher for people faced with the challenge of regulating glucose with insulin.

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