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Robotic Pill To Cure Diabetes Replaces Injections
A robot pill that delivers insulin directly to the gut could replace multiple painful injections for people with diabetes.
It can also deliver antibiotics, offering hope of battling superbugs with oral medications.
For patients and physicians, taking treatments by mouth is most desirable. Swallowing is safer, more convenient and less invasive.
But oral drugs often cannot withstand stomach acid before delivering their payloads for the intended effects. The degradation makes them less effective.
The capsule, called RoboCap, could revolutionise therapy. In a swine model, it increased permeability for insulin more than tenfold.
Dr Traverso said: “RoboCap’s mucus-clearing and churning movements are designed to overcome these barriers and help deliver drugs to where they are needed.”
About the size of a blueberry, the inexpensive device is made from biodegradable polymer and stainless steel components.
It makes it through the harsh environment of the stomach, resisting attacks from enzymes and penetrating the small intestine’s mucus barrier and other obstacles.
Currently, many common drugs including insulin must be delivered through other means.
Dr Traverso said: “When ingested, RoboCap’s gelatinous coating is dissolved in the stomach.
“The environment of the small intestine activates RoboCap, which vibrates and rotates to clear mucus, enhance mixing and deposit the drug payload in the small intestine where the drug is likely to be absorbed.
Many diabetics require several doses of insulin to manage their condition daily. The standard delivery method is via injections with small needles many times a day.
It can be especially uncomfortable, unwieldy and is harder than just taking a pill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 37 million Americans, or more than one in 10, suffer from diabetes.
It is the eighth most common cause of death in America, responsible for just over 100,000 fatalities each year.
Insulin is naturally produced in the pancreas, then travels to the liver where it helps process blood sugar.
A person suffering from type 1 diabetes does not produce enough insulin to manage blood sugar, if at all. All patients require some sort of dosage to manage the condition.
Those with type 2 diabetes, the form linked to obesity, may also need insulin medication to boost levels of the hormone and manage their blood sugar.
The standard injection of insulin in 100 international units (iu) per shot. Previous attempts to develop an insulin pill have had to carry around 500iu to properly function.
Diabetes affects almost five million people in the nigeria.