Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Compressed injection pill for oral insulin delivery - EPR

Some examples of the pills or “self-orienting millimeter-scale actuators.” Felice Frankel Some examples of the pills or “self-orienting millimeter-scale actuators.”
Ben Pena | 09 February, 2019, 22:12

But a research team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a capsule about the size of a blueberry that holds a tiny needle that, after being swallowed, injects insulin into the stomach. Additionally, they demonstrated that the gadget would be tailored to ship different protein medicine. It was developed to inject drugs into the lining of the stomach or small intestine. The researchers also say the capsule could be used to deliver other protein drugs. When the disk of sugar that makes up the capsule dissolves, a spring within releases a microneedle that it made of freeze-dried insulin. The needle is made in the same way an ordinary tablet is produced.

Stomach acid gradually dissolves the sugar until the spring pops, shooting the insulin into the stomach wall.

The researchers say patients won't feel any pain from the injection as the stomach wall has no pain receptors. Therefore, it does not matter how the pill falls, it will always be able to orient itself to be in contact with the stomach walls. And for long time researchers have pursued a way to orally control insulin.

The researchers also looked at the stomach tissue where the insulin was injected and saw no signs of damage or abnormalities.

The findings, published in the journal Science, showed that the researchers could successfully deliver up to 300 micrograms of insulin.

In a news release, the MIT scientists said that the mechanism is inspired by the leopard tortoise, found in Africa. USA scientist based the pill's design on the African leopard tortoise which has a shell with a high, steep dome, allowing it to right itself if it rolls onto its back.

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In this study, it takes about an hour for the insulin to be fully released into the bloodstream.

Giovanni Traverso, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School-affiliated Brigham and Women's hospital and a co-author of the study, said: "Our motivation is to make it easier for patients to take medication, particularly medications that require an injection".

In addition, the oral device, also called SOMA, is capable of self-orienting, thanks to its shape and distribution of its density, so that the micro-needle is injected correctly into the stomach.

After the capsule has delivered its contents, the remains pass harmlessly through the digestive system. The MIT team is now collaborating with Novo Nordisk for further study and product development to make it available in pharmacies at the soonest time. "Although we need to investigate further, this could be a potential way to deliver many medications such as immune-suppressants to treat rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel diseases", said Traverso.

Other authors of the paper include Ester Caffarel-Salvador, Minsoo Khang, David Dellal, David Silverstein, Yuan Gao, Morten Revsgaard Frederiksen, Andreas Vegge, Frantisek Hubalek, Jorrit Water, Anders Friderichsen, Johannes Fels, Rikke Kaae Kirk, Cody Cleveland, Joy Collins, Siddartha Tamang, Alison Hayward, Tomas Landh, Stephen Buckley, Niclas Roxhed, and Ulrik Rahbek.

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