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“Smart Sponge” Delivers Insulin

Posted Aug 20 2013 10:07pm
Posted on Aug. 20, 2013, 6 a.m. in Drug Delivery Technology Diabetes
“Smart Sponge” Delivers Insulin

When healthy. beta-cells produce insulin and control its release as the body needs it.  Dr. Zhen Gu, from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (North Carolina, USA), and colleagues have developed a drug delivery technique for diabetes treatment in which a sponge-like material surrounds an insulin core. The sponge expands and contracts in response to blood sugar levels to release insulin as needed. Commenting that: “we demonstrated that these microgels with enzyme nanocapsules facilitate insulin release and result in a reduction of blood glucose levels,” the researchers are also hopeful that the smart sponge holds promise for smart drug delivery targeting cancer or other diseases.

Zhen Gu, Tram T. Dang, Minglin Ma, Benjamin C. Tang, Hao Cheng, Shan Jiang, et al.  “Glucose-Responsive Microgels Integrated with Enzyme Nanocapsules for Closed-Loop Insulin Delivery.” ACS Nano, July 8, 2013.

  
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Sponge-like material, which expands and contracts in response to blood sugar levels, releases insulin contained in its core, as the body needs it.
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Anti-Aging Forum MLDP Join A4M
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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