UBC Breakthrough: Sublingual Insulin Drops Offer Hope for Needle-Free Diabetes Management

By: | June 12th, 2024

Image by Pixabay

University of British Columbia (UBC) researchers are giving diabetics a reason to cheer! They’ve developed a potential game-changer: oral insulin drops absorbed under the tongue.

Innovative Method: Replacing Injections with Drops

This innovative method could replace the need for daily injections, a major hurdle for many patients. The drops leverage the tongue’s dense network of blood vessels for quick absorption.

Novel System: How It Works

In their latest study, the UBC team developed a novel system for what can still be termed oral insulin. Instead of being swallowed, this insulin is administered as drops placed under the tongue. This sublingual method is particularly beneficial for drugs that don’t withstand the acidic environment of the stomach. It works effectively because the tissue under the tongue is rich in capillaries, allowing rapid diffusion of the drug into the bloodstream.

Overcoming Challenges: Enhancing Cell Permeability

Normally, insulin’s large molecular size would make this method ineffective, as it struggles to penetrate cells. To address this issue, the team combined insulin with a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) derived from fish byproducts, which enhances cell permeability. This “cellular guide” helps insulin navigate through cells, ensuring it reaches the bloodstream effectively.

Future Implications: A Revolution in Diabetes Management

If successful, these sublingual drops could revolutionize diabetes management. Imagine an easier, less intrusive way to control blood sugar levels. This could significantly improve treatment adherence and overall health outcomes for millions.

While still under development, this UBC research offers a promising glimpse into a future where managing diabetes is simpler and less burdensome.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

More articles from Industry Tap...