Smart Patch Would Replace Needles ... With Microneedles

File this under Wouldn't It Be Great If: Wouldn't it be great if instead of having to use needles to manage diabetes you could use slap on a little patch?

Researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill and North Carolina State in Raleigh think so, and to that end they are developing a so-called 'smart insulin patch.'

The Patch

This smart insulin patch is, on appearance, nothing more than a little, tiny piece of tape that can be applied to the skin.

Look much more closely and you would see, on the skin-side, in excess of one hundred microneedles.

These microneedles are smaller in diameter than the average eyelash (but substantially shorter!), and they function as little reservoirs holding both insulin and glucose-sensing enzymes.

When this detects rising sugar levels in the blood, insulin is discharged to return the blood sugar to the ideal level.

The manner in which the patch functions is designed to mimic the way the body beta cells in the pancreas work on a person without diabetes-- namely, these cells monitor the blood sugar levels and when needed, release insulin into the bloodstream.

"We have designed a patch for diabetes that works fast, is easy to use, and is made from nontoxic, biocompatible materials," says study co-author Zhen Gu. "The whole system can be personalized to account for a diabetic's weight and sensitivity to insulin."

Thus far tests are pre-clinical. But researchers have had success testing the patch on mice with type 1 diabetes, claiming the patch is currently able to manage blood sugar for several hours. The idea is to make the patch last a couple of days before needing to be replaced.

The team has detailed their work in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

(Photo credit: Zhen Gu)

Source: UNC Health Care

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...