Diabetics would soon be able to take a pill of insulin-filled nanoparticles instead of having to give themselves painful jabs, an Indian researcher has claimed.
Researcher Chandra Sharma of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology has presented the work at a biomaterials conference at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
"We have already developed the capsule form of the insulin. We have already tried it on pigs and rats," says Sharma.
According to the boffin, around the world, 40 percent of the 135 million people diagnosed with diabetes are dependent on insulin using painful and inconvenient injections to control their blood sugar, reports ABC Online.
Now, Sharma has found a way to package the insulin in nanoparticles so that it is both protected from stomach acids and is able to get through the intestinal wall and into the liver and bloodstream.
The nanoparticles, which are smaller than 100 nanometres across, are water attracting on the inside and water-repelling on the outside.
Once in the bloodstream the nanoparticles break down in response to the pH of blood and release the insulin.
"This is a much more physiological way of giving the insulin," says Sharma.
Rat experiments showed the nanoparticles enter the bloodstream and end up in organs such as the liver and kidney. Experiments in diabetic pigs showed that a pill containing the nanoparticles led to control of blood glucose after eating.
The research has been funded by the Indian government.