“Smart insulin” may ease the burden on type 1 diabetes – a condition that means the body cannot produce insulin. This means that those with the condition require frequent insulin shots to stabilise their blood glucose levels. However, this can be a difficult balancing act, as glucose levels can fluctuate throughout the day. Fluctuations can also be potentially dangerous, as they can lead to complications such as hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose).
The study was carried out by researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, and was funded by donations from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable trust and the Tayebati Family Foundation. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal PNAS. In this study, the researchers aimed to prepare a type of insulin that has a “molecular switch” that switches it on or off, depending on glucose levels. They tested it in mice. It is hoped that this treatment could one day give more targeted insulin therapy with better glucose control.
Briefly, the researchers found that their treatment was successful when given to mice with type 1 diabetes. It rapidly normalised their blood glucose levels following the glucose challenge and also demonstrated longer-term effects. In some tests, the modified insulin was able to normalise blood glucose levels in glucose challenges given up to 13 hours after the initial injection.
'Smart insulin' could be used to treat type 1 diabetes - Health News