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Nanoparticle Technology May Someday Be Useful In Treating Diabetes

May 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists at MIT have developed injectable nanoparticles that sense glucose levels in the body and then secrete a proper amount of insulin in much the same way the pancreas – destroyed in type 1 diabetes – acts to regulate sugar levels. Although the extended release technology is years away from therapeutic use, it someday might be utlized by diabetics to ensure that blood-sugar levels remain balanced. The system consists of an injectable gel-like structure containing oppositely charged nanoparticles. When the gel senses increased sugar levels, tiny spheres containing insulin break down. The insulin converts the glucose in the bloodstream to glycogen, which is then absorbed into the liver for storage.
Anne Trafton, "Nanotechnology could help fight diabetes", Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, May 16, 2013, © Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
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