Type 2 diabetes: New biopolymer injection may offer weeks of glucose control
Keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible is important for people with type 2 diabetes, as it lowers the risk of serious complications. However, despite a long list of treatment options, patients still struggle with glucose control, especially when working out meal-specific doses. Treatments that cut down on injections are seen as a way to overcome this problem. Now, in a paper in Nature Biomedical Engineering, scientists describe a new biopolymer injection that could potentially replace daily or weekly insulin shots with one that need only be given once or twice per month.
Untreated diabetes results in high levels of blood sugar, or glucose, which in the long-term can lead to blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, and amputation of lower limbs.
Diabetes arises because of a problem with insulin, which is a hormone that is made in the pancreas and which helps cells to absorb glucose so that they can use it for energy.
In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin, while in type 2 diabetes - which accounts for 90 to 95 percent of diabetes cases - it cannot use it properly.
Although the incidence of newly diagnosed diabetes is starting to drop in the United States, it is still a huge public health problem that affects more than 29 million people.
In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., and that more than a fifth of the country's healthcare costs are for people diagnosed with diabetes.
In their study paper, biomedical engineers from Duke Uni Continue reading