This article comes from the WeChat personal public number “Cool Science” of Windows Knock Rain, and the WeChat public number first published on the fruit shell network. It may not be reproduced commercially without permission.
Out of curiosity, I once gave myself a shot with an insulin injection pen (of course, there was no real medicine). It is not so difficult to pinch the skin and pierce the needle, and the pain level is completely within the acceptable range. But the thought of this kind of treatment is going to be carried out year after year, and it has to be marked several times a day. In contrast, it is much more convenient to swallow a pill, and it would be better if insulin could be put into the pill.
It is not feasible to directly convert insulin into pills. The digestive system will destroy all these proteins. However, scientists are trying a new idea: swallow a small syringe and give it a shot in the stomach.
(Source: Felice Frankel)
These small things in capsules are the mini syringes they designed. According to the researchers’ assumption, this small syringe is swallowed, it will automatically find a posture in the patient’s stomach, and then plunge the drug into the gastric mucosa tissue. In this way, macromolecular drugs that were not originally absorbed can enter the body directly.
Isn’t this still a shot? Yes, but it saves the trouble of injection operation, and it is more painless. The digestive tract is not as sensitive as the skin, and the researchers believe that the intragastric injection device is “unlikely to cause any discomfort.”
How to get an injection in the stomach?
The shell of the injection device is the reference leopard tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) Designed, it consists of a pointed plastic vault and a ring-shaped metal base. Because of its low center of gravity and the advantages of shape, it can quickly adjust itself to an upright position no matter how it falls, so that the opening is aligned with the stomach wall (however, this only works in an empty stomach).
(Animation comes from: news.harvard.edu)
After the posture adjustment is completed, the spring in the hidden device will be released, and a mini “needle” containing medicine will be inserted into the stomach tissue. This is not an ordinary injection needle, it is directly made with insulin plus degradable accessories. After sticking into the stomach wall, this little “needle” will dissolve on its own and release insulin into the tissue.
(A schematic. The original video comes from: Giovanni Traverso)
How then does the spring automatically loosen? Here we use something familiar to everyone: sugar. The researchers used a little caramelized sucrose (imagine the layer outside the candied gourd) to stick the small spring, and after entering the stomach, the gastric juice dissolves the sugar, and the small spring can automatically pop up, launching the “insulin spear” connected to it. “.
At present, this “edible syringe” is still in the early stages of development. In preliminary animal experiments, this seems to be a viable solution: insulin inserted into the gastric mucosa successfully reduced the blood sugar levels of the experimental pigs. The effect is similar to traditional subcutaneous injection, and it did not cause any gastric tissue damage in a short period of time. However, before it is actually put into application, people still have a lot of research work to do.
Whether this thing can really benefit diabetics is still unknown, but the idea is indeed quite magical…
Recommended for you