Good News For Diabetics: End to Insulin Injections Soon?

The insulin patch can be a game-changer for the millions of diabetics who inject themselves with insulin daily

2 min read
Hindi Female

# Introduction of the “Smart Diabetes Patch” will be very exciting for the 387 million diabetics around the world.

# The patch contains 121 micro-needles, each loaded with bubbles containing insulin and an enzyme.

# Micro-needles painlessly pierce the skin when first applied but don’t release insulin till it’s required by the body.


Scientists at the North Carolina University have designed and tested a “smart diabetes patch” in labs trials, that can automatically detect blood sugar levels and release insulin to manage diabetes.


The Insulin Patch

The insulin patch can be a game-changer for the millions of diabetics who inject themselves with insulin daily
The device: The patch has 121 micro-needles with specialised nanoparticles which release insulin when the glucose levels are high (Photo: University of North Carolina)

This glucose sensing patch is the size of a coin, so wearing it will not be a problem. It is covered with 121 micro-needles, not longer than your eyelashes, which painlessly pierce through your skin when the patch is worn.

The best part is, it can effectively monitor glucose levels and also inject precise amounts of insulin automatically through the fine needles without the patient having to prick an injection.

The idea behind the “smart” insulin patch, is to do away with some of those headaches while matching the body’s natural insulin generators, known as beta cells, that sense the increase in blood sugar and trigger a release of insulin.

The patch has only been tested on mice with type 1 diabetes and it lowered the blood glucose levels for nine hours. Now if the same results are mimicked in human clinical trials, it could revolutionise diabetes treatment.


Needs Improvement

The insulin patch can be a game-changer for the millions of diabetics who inject themselves with insulin daily
According to the International Diabetes Federation there are 387 million diabetics in the world, meaning they cannot make insulin (type I) or are insensitive to insulin (type II), who will benefit from this patch (Photo: iStock)

The smart insulin patch could definitely be a part of the solution to better diabetes management but at this stage it is not the whole answer because it can’t sense the changes in glucose and release insulin as fast as the pancreatic beta cells do.

So while the patch is surely better than insulin injections, they have to be fine tuned to receive signals that indicate when the meal is coming, so they release insulin before the glucose has a chance to spike.

The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If it is successful in human clinical trials, it will be a boon for the 387 million diabetics of the world.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from news and india

Topics:  Diabetes   Insulin 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More