Moscow State University researchers develop smart insulin capsule

The smart capsule is made to activate the release of insulin at the right place

Researchers at the department of chemistry of the Moscow State University came up with a technique to produce an insulin capsule that can protect insulin from the destructive effects of gastric juice. The researchers developed a multilayer polymeric capsule capable of gradually releasing insulin in a neutral medium while remaining intact in acid medium. Two polymers were used for producing the capsule, a positively charged protamine and a negatively charged dextransulfate. A multilayer coating was formed around the insulin stuffing by putting sequential layers of the polymers onto each other in a regular polarity order. The insulin stuffing accounts for nearly 85% of the whole microparticle.

The protective capsule retains insulin while the pH level ranges from 1.7 to 5. The hormone is released if the pH is greater than 5. The above pH-dependent characteristics of insulin coated with protective polymers will enable researchers to produce insulin tablets. The polymer coating will protect insulin molecules subjected to the acid medium of the stomach. On arriving in the small intestine and ileum, where the pH level can measure from 6 to 8, tablets start releasing insulin intensively. Therefore, the smart capsule is made to activate the release of insulin at the right place while keeping it well-protected in a hostile environment. The polymers used for the protective coating are biodegradable and have no harmful side effects on health whatsoever.

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Author`s name Olga Savka