A team of researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) in Chapel Hill and NC State in Raleigh are working on a “smart insulin patch” to help people with diabetes. Currently, millions of Americans have to inject the precise dosages of insulin or risk health complications, coma and death. The new patch that is smaller than a penny contains hundreds of micro-needles filled with insulin and glucose-sensing enzymes. So far the new patch has been tested on diabetic laboratory mice but with great success. The new patch stabilized their insulin levels for several hours. The success is still preliminary but the researchers have a lot of hope. Compared to mice, humans are more sensitive to insulin changes, which will make the patch even more effective and able to last for several days. The patch can be placed anywhere on the body: it is easy to use, and is made from nontoxic, biocompatible materials.
Contributing Author: Amy Chiang