Tuesday March 20, 2018

Pain-free skin patch developed for management of diabetes

Pain-free skin patch developed for management of diabetesPain-free skin patch developed for management of diabetes
Pain-free skin patch developed for management of diabetes. IANS

New York, Dec 27, 2017: There is good news for diabetics as researchers have developed a pain-free skin patch containing dissolvable compounds that responds to blood chemistry to manage glucose automatically.

For millions of people with type 2 diabetes, ongoing vigilance over the amount of sugar, or glucose, in their blood is the key to health. A finger prick before mealtimes and maybe an insulin injection is an uncomfortable but necessary routine.

The new study, published online in the journal Nature Communications, showed that the biochemical formula of mineralised compounds in the patch responds to sugar levels for days at a time.

In a proof-of-concept study performed with mice, the researchers showed that the biochemically formulated patch of dissolvable microneedles can make the management of Type-2 diabetes much easier.

“This experimental approach could be a way to take advantage of the fact that persons with Type-2 diabetes can still produce some insulin,” said Richard Leapman of National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), part of National Institutes of Health (NIH), US.

“A weekly microneedle patch application would also be less complicated and painful than routines that require frequent blood testing,” Leapman said.

The base of the experimental patch is material called alginate, a gum-like natural substance extracted from brown algae.

It is mixed with therapeutic agents and poured into a microneedle form to make the patch.

“Alginate is a pliable material — it is soft, but not too soft,” said lead researcher Xiaoyuan (Shawn) Chen of NIBIB.

“It has to be able to poke the dermis, and while not a commonly used material for needles, it seems to work pretty well in this case,” Chen said.

Chen’s team infused the alginate with a formula of biochemical particles that stimulates the body’s own insulin production when needed and curtails that stimulation when normal blood sugar concentration is reached.

The responsive delivery system of the patch can meet the body’s need for days instead of being used up all at once, the study said.

Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas and secreted into the bloodstream to regulate glucose in response to food intake.

It is needed to move glucose from the bloodstream into cells where the sugar can be converted to energy or stored.

In Type-1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in children and young adults, the body does not make insulin at all.

Type-2 diabetes, which can be diagnosed at any age but more commonly as an adult, progressively lessens the body’s ability to make or use insulin.

Untreated, diabetes can result in both vascular and nerve damage throughout the body, with debilitating impacts on the eyes, feet, kidneys, and heart.

Global incidence of all types of diabetes is about 285 million people, of which 90 per cent have Type-2 diabetes.

Many require insulin therapy that is usually given by injection just under the skin in amounts that are calculated according to the deficit in naturally generated insulin in the blood. Insulin therapy is not managed well in half of all cases.

The alternate therapy approach developed by NIBIB researchers may eventually make management of Type-2 diabetes a lot more convenient. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2017 NewsGram

Next Story

Wine Tied to Healthier Arteries for Some Diabetics

Some previous research has linked drinking moderate amounts of wine or other alcohol to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy people as well as diabetics

A woman tastes 2015 vintage wine from Barsac Sauternes during the Union des Grand Crus of Bordeaux tasting event Jan. 25, 2018, in San Francisco. VOA

Some diabetics with plaque buildup in their arteries might have less debris in these blood vessels after adding wine to their diets, a recent study suggests.

For the study, researchers examined data on 224 people with type 2 diabetes who normally didn’t drink alcohol but were randomly assigned to follow a Mediterranean diet and drink approximately one glass of red wine, white wine or water for days. Among the subset of 174 people with ultrasound images of their arteries, 45 percent had a detectable plaque at the start of the study.

Two years later, researchers didn’t see any significant increase in plaque for any of the participants with ultrasounds, regardless of whether they drank wine or water.

ALSO READ: Label Description with Details of Winery History on the Bottle may Influence your Choice of Wine

However, among the people who started out with the most plaque in their arteries, there was a small but statistically meaningful reduction in these deposits by the end of the study, researchers report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Among patients with well-controlled diabetes and a low risk for alcohol abuse, initiating moderate alcohol consumption in the context of a healthy diet is apparently safe and may modestly reduce cardiometabolic risk,” said lead study author Rachel Golan, a public health researcher at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, Israel.

Cardio-metabolic risk factors can increase the chances of having diabetes, heart disease or a stroke. Pixabay

“Our study is not a call for all patients with type 2 diabetes to start drinking,” Golan said by email.

In addition to plaque in the arteries, other risk factors include high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol, smoking and having poor diet and exercise habits.

ALSO READ: Prepare these Amazing Cocktails for a tipsy Winter

Previous research

In the current study, all of the participants had the most common form of the disease, known as type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and aging and occurs when the body can no longer produce or use the hormone insulin to convert sugars in the blood into energy.

Participants were part of a larger study looking at people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

They were typically in their late 50s or early 60s and most of them were overweight or obese. Roughly 65 to 70 percent of them took medications to lower cholesterol or other blood fats and the majority of them also took diabetes drugs to control blood sugar.

Some previous research has linked drinking moderate amounts of wine or other alcohol to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in otherwise healthy people as well as diabetics. Pixabay

ALSO READ: World’s oldest Italian wine has been found: US Study 

Mediterranean diet

Patients were told to follow a Mediterranean diet, which typically includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. This diet also tends to favor lean sources of protein like chicken or fish over red meat, which contains more saturated fat.

Participants were provided with wine or mineral water throughout the study period along with a 150-milliliter (5.07-ounce) glass to measure the daily dose of their assigned beverage, which was consumed with dinner.

Some previous research has linked a Mediterranean diet to weight loss and a reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers as well as better management of blood sugar in people with diabetes.

Another drawback is that researchers only had ultrasound images of plaque buildup for a small proportion of patients, and the two-year follow-up period might not be long enough to detect meaningful differences in plaque accumulation.

One limitation of the current study is the potential for the apparent beneficial effect of the wine to have been at least partially caused by the Mediterranean diet. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Kerala: Catholic Church wants permission to produce more wine

There is a risk

Alcohol may help, but it also isn’t risk-free, noted Dr. Gregory Marcus, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who wasn’t involved in the study. It can increase the risk of heart rhythm problems, which can cause stroke, Marcus said by email.

Even though alcohol might help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in some circumstances, there isn’t enough evidence yet to suggest that people who avoid alcohol should start drinking, Marcus said.

“I would certainly recommend against starting to drink alcohol in the hopes of obtaining beneficial health effects among anyone that currently abstains,” Marcus said. “And among those who drink, these sorts of positive results should never be used to consume more alcohol, particularly beyond drinking in moderation.” (VOA)