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New insulin delivery 'smart' patch shows promise in mouse study

Scientists test smart patch to monitor blood glucose and automatically deliver insulin in type 1 diabetes patients.

By
Amy Wallace
Tiny, painless microneedles on a smart patch can deliver insulin automatically in response to rising glucose levels are being tested on mice. Photo courtesy American Chemical Society
Tiny, painless microneedles on a smart patch can deliver insulin automatically in response to rising glucose levels are being tested on mice. Photo courtesy American Chemical Society

Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Researchers from the United States and China have developed a new smart patch that can monitor blood glucose and automatically deliver insulin painlessly to patients with type 1 diabetes.

The smart patch has been shown in tests to be successful at lowering blood glucose in mice.

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The smart skin patch consists of painless microneedles that contain tiny insulin-carrying pouches, which are designed to break apart quickly and automatically release insulin when blood glucose levels get too high.

Researchers tested the smart patch on mice with diabetes and found that the mice were able to maintain consistent concentrations of insulin in their blood. When researchers gave the mice a shot of glucose, blood sugar initially spiked but then dropped to normal levels within two hours.

The patch could allow people with type 1 diabetes, who do not make any insulin and are dependent on daily insulin injections and blood sugar monitoring, to have a better quality of life. Patients with advanced type 2 diabetes could also benefit from the technology.

The study was published in ACS Nano.

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