Health

Pain free insulin patch for diabetes patients developed

Scientists have developed a pain free insulin patch that stimulates body’s insulin production for diabetes patients.

The patch delivers a natural substance extracted from brown algae - completely removing the need for painful and unpleasant daily injections. Patients will be required to apply the patch once a week and it would automatically stimulate the body to produce the required insulin. The patch works by delivering a naturally produced substance, derived from brown algae, via microneedles.

Dr Richard Leapman, scientific director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) in Maryland, US, where the patch has been developed, said the patch is still in its experimental phase, but it has the potential of changing lives of millions of people suffering from diabetes. The patch takes advantage of the fact that persons with type 2 diabetes can still produce some insulin. A weekly microneedle patch application would also be less complicated and painful than routines that require frequent blood testing.

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates around 371 million people in the world suffer from diabetes so this new patch will be very welcome. The easier delivery method may mean more people get treated and prevent diabetes related conditions such as blindness, heart attacks and amputations.

At the moment they have to undergo injections to regulate insulin levels. However, according to the research team, insulin therapy is still not managed well in half of all cases. So they argue that the new patch would offer a viable and painless alternative and unlike insulin injections, it need not be applied so often.

About the author

Marjory Lewis

Marjory Lewis

Marjory has a degree in Chemistry has been an active journalist covering the pharmaceutical industry. She is well versed with scientific terminologies and hence covers Science and health for The Columnist.

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