Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A New Treatment for Diabetes?

The following article talks about a new gel which shows resistance to stomach acid, allowing the insulin to escape into the intestine where it can be released. This is, IMO, an improvement over current treatments, and I'm sure quite a few others might agree.

Here is a link to the actual article, though not everyone may have access to it, so I'll quote a portion of the conclusions.

A novel class of pH-sensitive complexation hydrogels composed of methacrylic acid and functionalized poly(ethylene glycol) tethers, referred to as P(MAA-g-EG) WGA, was investigated as an oral protein delivery system. The PEG tethers were functionalized with wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), a lectin that can bind to carbohydrates in the intestinal mucosa, to improve residence time of the carrier and absorption of the drug at the delivery site. Insulin was effectively entrapped within the polymer network with a loading efficiency of 74%. Release studies with insulin-loaded P(MAA-g-EG) WGA showed that the carrier released less than 10% of the insulin at pH 3.2 after 60 min and 70% of the insulin at pH 7.0 after 60 min. Therefore, P(MAA-g-EG) WGA can protect insulin in the low pH of the stomach and that the pH change between the stomach and the small intestine can be used as a physiologic trigger to quickly release insulin.

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