June 24, 2013
Injected Nanoparticles Maintain Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetic Mice For Ten Days:
Modern medicine is once again turning to nanotechnology to help our bodies help themselves. A new device comprised of nanoparticles monitors blood sugar levels and releases insulin when sugar levels get too high. It has already been shown to work in mice. If it does the same for humans, keeping people with type 1 diabetes healthy could be a simple matter of swallowing a pill.
It is comprised of a network of nanoparticles that releases insulin into the blood in response to changes in blood glucose levels. Each of the nanoparticles have a core of insulin, a charged molecular chain called dextran and the enzyme glucose oxidase. When blood glucose levels are high, glucose oxidase breaks the sugar down into gluconic acid, which then breaks down the dextran chains to release insulin. The gluconic acid and dextran are broken down by the body and the released insulin returns blood sugar levels back to normal. The degradable nano-network was shown to work in mice where a single injection kept blood glucose levels normal for a minimum of 10 days.