Scientists are now trying to develop a “smart” insulin injection that should be taken once per day or weekly by type 1 diabetes patients, and this “smart” insulin is designed to automatically activate itself when blood sugar gets too high and also switch itself off when it gets low or balances up.
“My goal is to make life easier and safer for diabetics,” said Dr. Danny Chou from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been testing a smart insulin which is a chemically modified version of regular, long-acting insulin. “This is an important advance in insulin therapy.”
Since most type 1 diabetics depend on insulin injections to stay healthy and keep their blood sugar balanced from getting too low, this smart insulin medication would make it easier for patients to control their blood sugar in the most comfortable way.
“A smart insulin would eliminate hypos – which are what many with type 1 diabetes hate (the) most,” said Karen Addington, chief executive of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). “It would enable people with type 1 diabetes to achieve near perfect glucose control, all from a single injection per day or even per week. That’s really exciting,” since achieving good blood glucose control is a daily battle for diabetics. However, JDRF has been funding researches into developing smart insulin.
One warning though: this product has worked so well in mice and has not been modified for human use yet. While it doubtlessly would work for human diabetic patients, it could take some more years before it becomes available for human use.
“Years of further research and clinical trials will be needed to find out if a similar drug could be used safely and effectively by people with diabetes,” said Dr. Richard Elliott of Diabetes U.K.
Hopefully, this “smart insulin” should change the way type 1 diabetes manage the disease on a day to day level.