Taking insulin could be as simple as moisturizing

Finding a new way to deliver insulin is a bit of a holy grail in delivery technology--this could free people with diabetes from multiple daily injections, and open up a route for other protein drugs, too. Researchers in Japan may have brought this a step closer by creating a cream that can deliver insulin through the skin, and have published the results in MedChemComm.

The researchers created an insulin-loaded skin cream by combining the insulin with surfactants and peptides, and then dispersing the molecules in isopropyl myristate, which improves the movement of the drug through the skin. In tests on pig skin, the cream delivered 6 times more insulin into the skin than a solution of insulin in water. As well as delivering insulin, this formulation could be used to deliver other peptides, or any water-soluble drug, through the skin.

"Transcutaneous protein delivery is a difficult problem, the solution of which could enhance the quality of life for patients in need of protein therapeutics," Paschalis Alexandridis of the University of Buffalo said to Chemistry World.

Regular injections of insulin are inconvenient and unpleasant, and oral and injected insulin can become degraded as it passes through the body. Should transdermal insulins reach the market, they could provide a convenient alternative with potential to capture a significant piece of the market.

- see the article in Chemistry World
- check out the abstract

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