Nanoparticles Mimic a Pancreas in Mice
Diabetes has gone nano with the creation of injectable nanoparticles that mimic a pancreas. They release just enough insulin in mice with diabetes to regulate blood glucose levels. Researchers built the nanoparticles—tiny balls of chemicals—from a scaffold of sugar that dissolves in the presence of acid. They loaded them up with a mixture of insulin and an enzyme that converts glucose to gluconic acid. Then the researchers inserted the particles into mice with type 1 diabetes. When glucose levels were high, the enzymes generated lots of gluconic acid, which dissolved the nanoparticles to release the encapsulated insulin. The nanoparticles normalized the rodents' blood glucose levels for up to 10 days. Before human studies can be done, additional safety trials will be needed.
Source: ACS Nano, May 2, 2013