Anu Parthiban|Oct 17, 2023
IIT Bhilai team develops controlled insulin-delivery platform
The IIT Bhilai team’s insulin platform uses a hydrogel-based drug delivery system which mimics the natural insulin secretion process of healthy pancreatic cells.
NEW DELHI: A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhilai including scientists from Delhi’s Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence and Rawatpura Sarkar Institute of Pharmacy Chhattisgarh has engineered a novel insulin-delivery platform.
The team, led by Suchetan Pal, assistant professor of chemistry department, IIT Bhilai, has developed the hydrogel-based drug delivery system. The drug-delivery system mimics the natural insulin secretion process of healthy pancreatic cells. The platform will be able to release insulin in a controlled manner in response to elevated blood glucose levels, an IIT Bhilai statement said.
The research paper has been co-authored by Akbar Ali, Saroj, Sunita Saha, Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Tatini Rakshit, and Suchetan Pal. It has been published in the American Chemical Society journal, Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Pal said, "Current insulin injection methods have some limitations. They do not work quite like the body's natural system and can be fatal. The current insulin injection methods can also make blood sugar levels drop dangerously low, and patients might have to rely on them forever."
IIT Bhilai said hydrogels are biocompatible polymers that have high water. These are being studied for controlled drug release in various medical fields including cardiology, oncology, immunology, wound healing, and pain management.
The team took inspiration from the natural insulin secretion process which is triggered by glucose. The platform is designed in such a way that it releases insulin when glucose levels are elevated. To achieve the objectives, polyvinyl alcohol has been cross linked with tiny particles of chitosan, an ingredient derived from shellfish and crabs' outer skeletons. The crosslinker, formylphenylboronic acid, responds to glucose levels and releases the insulin that is encapsulated inside the hydrogel.
As per a study of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which featured in the Lancet, around 101 million Indians have diabetes.
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