Wearable Ultrasound Device Could Replace Injections For Diabetics
Its safe to say that most people don’t like needles. Just the sight of a needle will make most people cringe uncomfortably. The process is especially difficult for Diabetics who have to inject themselves multiple times a day.. To ease the uncomfortable nature of the needle, researchers at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are developing a system in which a single injection of nanoparticles could deliver insulin internally for days at a time – with a little help from pulses of ultrasound.
When it’s time to get a dose of that insulin into the bloodstream, a hand-held device is used to externally deliver focused waves of ultrasound to the nano-network. The scientists believe that this excites microscopic gas bubbles in the body tissue, disrupting the network and thus slackening the electrostatic force that ordinarily keeps the insulin reservoir from dispersing. In any case, the insulin is indeed able to enter the bloodstream, and is pushed along by the force of the ultrasound waves.
Once the ultrasound is turned off, the nano-network re-forms and more insulin leaks out to form another reservoir. In tests on diabetic lab mice, one injection of the nanoparticles was enough to regulate blood glucose levels for as much as 10 days. When a nano-network is depleted, another batch of particles can be injected – the old network will be absorbed by the body within a few weeks.
The scientists are now working towards applying the technology to humans.