BETHESDA, Md. – Researchers with the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering have developed a wearable patch that can regulate blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes through microneedles. The base of the experimental patch is material called alginate, a gum-like natural substance extracted from brown algae, which is mixed with therapeutic agents and poured into a microneedle form to make the patch. Researchers 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. “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, scientific director at NIBIB, in a statement.
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