A brand new “smart” insulin patch currently being tested may bring a new era of injection-free treatment for diabetes sufferers.
The patch is packed with needles as thin as eyelashes. These microneedles detect high sugar levels in the blood and secrete insulin to restore sugar balance as needed.
The patch has so far been successfully tested on mice, and according to one of the leading scientists in the project, the patch could be tailored to a patient’s weight and insulin sensitivity to make it more efficient.
The patch itself is about the size of a penny coin, and is covered with one hundred micro needles. These needles contain microscopic insulin storage units and glucose-sensing enzymes that would release insulin if blood sugars become too high.
When tested in model mice with Type 1 diabetes, the patch was found to lower blood glucose levels for up to nine hours.
Further testing, and clinical trials in humans are needed before the patch is approved for general use, but according to researchers, initial tests show great promise and potential.
About 387 million people worldwide are affected with diabetes.