Insulin, the wonder medicine for diabetes was discovered about a century ago.
Since insulin does not get into the blood stream easily, diabetes patients often
have injected themselves with insulin. Now a group of scientists led by Dr. Sanyog Jain
at the Center for Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology of National Institute of
Pharmaceutical Education and Research in Punjab, India has designed a polymer
based package for oral insulin administration.
The package design addresses two major obstacles, 1) digestive enzymes must not
degrade insulin prior to its action and 2) the insulin gets into the blood stream.
The package contained folic acid functionalized insulin loaded in liposomes.
To protect the liposomes (lipids or fat molecules) they were alternately coated with
negatively charged polyacrylic acid (PAA), and positively charged poly allyl
amine hydrochloride. Studies were conducted to compare the efficacy of both
delivery systems: designed polyelectrolyte based insulin and standard insulin
solution. Effects of oral administration lasted longer than that of injected
insulin, authors reported in a recent article in Biomacromolecules.
[Reference: A.K. Agarwal, H. Harde, K. Thanki, and S. Jain; Biomacrmolecules, Nov. 27, 2013;