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Controlling Diabetes With A Skin Patch

Controlling Diabetes with a Skin Patch

Controlling Diabetes with a Skin Patch

A flexible tattoo senses glucose levels in sweat and delivers a drug as needed.
Attempting to free people with diabetes from frequent finger-pricks and drug injections, researchers have created an electronic skin patch that senses excess glucose in sweat and automatically administers drugs by heating up microneedles that penetrate the skin.
The prototype was developed by Dae-Hyeong Kim, assistant professor at Seoul National University and researchers at MC10, a flexible-electronics company in Lexington, Massachusetts. Two years ago the same group prototyped a patch aimed at Parkinson’s patients that diagnoses tremors and delivers drugs stored inside nanoparticles.
Other efforts to develop minimally invasive glucose monitoring have used ultrasound and optical measurements to detect glucose levels. And a variety of skin patches could deliver insulin or metformin, a popular drug used to treat type 2 diabetes. But the new prototype incorporates both detection and drug delivery in one device.
The patch, described in a paper in Nature Nanotechnology, is made of graphene studded with gold particles and contains sensors that detect humidity, glucose, pH, and temperature. The enzyme-based glucose sensor takes into account pH and temperature to improve the accuracy of the glucose measurements taken from sweat.
If the patch senses high glucose levels, heaters trigger microneedles to dissolve a coating and release the drug metformin just below the skin surface. “This is the first closed-loop epidermal system that has both monitoring and the noninvasive delivery of diabetes drugs di Continue reading

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Google doodle celebrates 125th birthday of diabetes treatment pioneer Sir Frederick Banting

Google doodle celebrates 125th birthday of diabetes treatment pioneer Sir Frederick Banting

With its latest doodle, Google celebrates the 125th birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who together with Charles Best, pioneered the use of insulin in the treatment of diabetes.
The doodle features a bottle of insulin in place of the second letter 'o' in Google and also an image of the digestive tract, which was key to Banting's theory that the pancreas' secretion held the key to the treatment of diabetes. World Diabetes Day coincides with Banting's birthday on 14 November.
According to the NobelPrize.org, Banting approached Professor John Macleod at the University of Toronto, on a possible way of treating diabetes. He proposed to ligate the pancreative ducts to stop the flow of nourishment to the pancreas.
This in turn would cause the pancreas to degenerate and stop it from secreting digestive juices, enabling the extraction of an anti-diabetic secretion from the pancreas.
Although he did not really think much of his theory, Macleod gave him a laboratory with minimum equipment and 10 dogs and an assistant, medical student Charles Best. When the tests proved successful, the experiment was expanded and the extract was named 'insulin'.
During the testing process, the team discovered that there was no need to shrink the pancreas and that they could use whole fresh pancreas from adult animals.
In late 1921, biochemist Bertram Collip joined the team, to try and purify the insulin so that it can be tested on humans. To kick start treatment on humans, Banting and Best became the guinea pigs, testing the purified insulin on themselves.
In January 1922, 14-year-old boy Leonard Thomp Continue reading

Cure for Type 1 diabetes imminent after Harvard stem-cell breakthrough

Cure for Type 1 diabetes imminent after Harvard stem-cell breakthrough

A cure for diabetes could be imminent after scientists discovered how to make huge quantities of insulin-producing cells, in a breakthrough hailed as significant as antibiotics.
Harvard University has, for the first time, managed to manufacture the millions of beta cells required for transplantation.
It could mean the end of daily insulin injections for the 400,000 people in Britain living with Type 1 diabetes.
And it marks the culmination of 23-years of research for Harvard professor Doug Melton who has been trying to find a cure for the disease since his son Sam was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a baby.
“We are now just one pre-clinical step away from the finish line,” said Prof Melton.
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Asked about his children’s reaction he said: "I think like all kids, they always assumed that if I said I'd do this, I'd do it,
"It was gratifying to know that we can do something that we always thought was possible.”
The stem cell-derived beta cells are presently undergoing trials in animal models, including non-human primates, where they are still producing insulin after several months, Prof Melton said.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that causes the pancreas to stop producing Continue reading

Even If You're Lean, 1 Soda Per Day Ups Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Even If You're Lean, 1 Soda Per Day Ups Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

It's true that being overweight or obese is a leading risk factor for developing Type 2 diabetes.
But attention, skinny and normal-weight people: You may be vulnerable, too.
Lots of lifestyle choices influence the risk of diabetes: everything from whether you smoke to how much you exercise (or don't). It turns out, what you choose to drink is also a risk factor.
A new study published in the British Medical Journal finds that people in the habit of drinking one sugar-sweetened beverage — such as a soda or sweetened tea — every day had an 18 percent increased risk of developing the disease over a decade. That's compared with people who steer clear of sugary beverages.
The researchers reached this estimate by pooling data from 17 previously published studies that had evaluated the link between sugary drinks and diabetes risk.
And here's what upends conventional thinking: After the researchers adjusted their estimates for body weight, they found that — even for thin or normal-weight people — one sugary drink per day was associated with a 13 percent increased risk.
"So even if people are lean, if they continue consuming sugar-sweetened beverages, they have a greater likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes," study author Fumiaki Imamura, of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, told us.
The studies he looked at were observational, so they can't prove cause and effect. But the link between sugary drinks and diabetes is solid, since researchers say they understand the biological mechanisms of how too much sugar can overwork the endocrine system.
As we've Continue reading

Sugary drinks may cause type 2 diabetes regardless of size, research says

Sugary drinks may cause type 2 diabetes regardless of size, research says

Sugar-sweetened drinks such as colas and lemonades may play a part in the alarming rise of type 2 diabetes in the UK and the US, according to new research – regardless of whether people are obese or not.
Researchers from Cambridge University said they also found a link, albeit weak, between type 2 diabetes and people who drink fruit juices or “diet” drinks containing artificial sweeteners. These are not a good substitute for sugar-sweetened drinks, they say. “Unsweetened coffee and tea or water may be the healthy option,” said Fumiaki Imamura, from the Medical Research Council epidemiology unit at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.
The paper follows the final recommendations of the government’s scientific advisory committee on nutrition (SACN), which on Friday urged a cut in added sugar consumption to no more than 5% of a person’s diet. In particular, the independent advisers said, people should cut down on the amount of sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks, soft drinks and squash they consume.
The Cambridge team, who have published their research in the British Medical Journal, say they cannot prove that too many sweetened drinks causes type 2 diabetes from the evidence they were able to gather. But, if one assumes causality, “the current consumption of sugar sweetened beverages was estimated to cause approximately 2m excess events of type 2 diabetes in the USA and 80,000 in the UK over 10 years. This could cost nearly £12bn in the USA and £206m in the UK,” they write.
Links between obesity and type 2 diabetes are largely accepted. The res Continue reading

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