Breakthrough Research Could Replace Insulin Shots With PillsS

Whether you don't like needles, or whether you really don't like needles, there's some good news on the horizon: a special "bioadhesive" coating that was just developed at Brown University is bringing us one step closer to saying goodbye to injections and hello to things like insulin pills.

It's not like people are out there injecting drugs for just fun (well, except for the people out there who are injecting drugs just for fun); injections are crucial for administering protein-based drugs—like insulin—that can't make it through the stomach to the small intestine where they can get absorbed into the bloodstream. The bioadhesive coating developed by researchers at Brown not only lets doses get through unscathed, but also sticks them to the small intestine and dishes them out at controllable speeds.

When researchers coated tons of 500-nanometer particles with the bioadhesive, called PBMAD, and fed them to some lab rats, they found that a PBMAD coating is roughly 20 percent more effective at getting medicines through the stomach acid gauntlet and into the bloodstream than the previous best. And 65 percent better than no coating at all.

The next goal is getting the right medicines to the right parts of the body in the right quantities, but the recent studies have proven that PBMAD is a promising delivery mechanism. Insulin pills might still be a way off, but a future with less needles sounds like a future worth looking forward to. [PhysOrg]

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