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Under The Tongue, Oral Insulin Drops Could Replace Diabetes Injections



Oral Insulin
Drops of insulin placed under the tongue could be a new alternative to injections for diabeticsDepositphotos

(CTN News) – Those who are sick of Oral Insulin receiving injections on a regular basis may have renewed hope for an alternative that is less invasive.

An innovative technique of administering insulin has been devised by researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC). This method requires users to just place a few drops of insulin under their tongue. One of the defining characteristics of diabetes is the inability to produce sufficient Oral Insulin to control the levels of glucose in the blood.

Subcutaneous injections of oral insulin are common

The medication must be administered throughout the day by individuals with type 1 diabetes and by many individuals with type 2 diabetes. As well as being uncomfortable for patients, it can also prove difficult for them to adhere to, contributing to the generation of biohazardous waste.

There are currently a variety of less intrusive procedures being developed, with various degrees of success. Controllable implants and ultrasound patches that release medications directly through the skin are two examples of experimental approaches; nonetheless, oral insulin delivery is the primary area of research that is now being concentrated on.

After all, swallowing a tablet is a straightforward, painless activity that a great number of individuals currently take on a daily basis.

That being said, there are a few issues that arise with that as well. Insulin is a frail molecule that does not make it through the journey from the stomach to the intestines, where it has to reside in order to be absorbed into the bloodstream. It may be helpful to encapsulate it in a variety of materials, or even to make capsules that physically inject it into the lining; however, doing so requires insulin to be digested through the liver, which can result in a change in its structure.

For the purpose of the current study, the team from the University of British Columbia designed a new approach that could still be referred to as oral insulin. On the other hand, it is administered in the form of drops that are placed under the tongue rather than being swallowed.

Drugs that are not able to be absorbed by the stomach can be administered using this technique, which is known as sublingual administration. Effectiveness can be attributed to the presence of a large number of capillaries in the tissue that is located under the tongue, which enables the medicine to rapidly diffuse into the bloodstream.

Oral Insulin, on the other hand, is a big molecule that’s hard to pass through cells.

Therefore, the group combined it with an oral insulin cell-penetrating peptide (CPP), which is derived from fish leftovers and has the ability to increase the porousness of cells.

Dr. Jiamin Wu, a researcher who participated in the study, suggested that one should “think of it as a guide that helps oral insulin navigate through a maze in order to reach the bloodstream quickly.” This guide identifies the most efficient pathways, which makes it simpler for insulin to travel to the locations it needs to go.

Mice were used as the test subjects for the approach. When combined with CPP, the insulin was able to successfully enter the bloodstream and keep blood glucose levels under control to a degree that was comparable to that of insulin administered through injection. When the guide peptide was absent, oral insulin had a tendency to become lodged in the mucosal lining within the mouth.

At the moment, the researchers are working on obtaining licenses for the technology from their respective commercial partners.

Two studies that were published in the Journal of Controlled Release not too long ago provided a description of the technology.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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