It is now possible to swallow insulin pills rather than inject insulin with same efficacy. Insulin is a protein based drug that must go from the stomach to the small intestine, be absorbed and then transported through the blood stream. Researchers have found that bioadhesive makes it possible to better absorb nano-particles, so insulin pills can be easily assimilated in the blood stream.
The problem with insulin pills
The problem with insulin pills in the absence of this technology is that they cannot be easily absorbed in the small intestine and therefore cannot travel to the bloodstream. The basic problem that the scientists faced was – how to enhance the intestinal uptake of insulin? The other problem was the acidic environment of the stomach which interferes with the dissolution of insulin in the small intestine. Insulin being a protein based drug. When it is taken orally rather than through injection reaches the stomach safely and from there goes to the small intestine where it is absorbed. Finally, the insulin must find the way to the blood stream.
What difference do bioadhesives make?
With the intervention of bioadhesives, it is now possible to circumvent the problem faced earlier. Bioadhesive coating has been found to significantly enhance insulin uptake. In other words, the experiment in rodents has shown that bioadhesives makes micro and nano particle absorption in small intestine easy.
More specifically nano-particles with the help of bioadhesives can stick to the mucosal lining of the intestine so that they are sucked in by the epithelial cells and finally get into the blood stream. The nano-particles carry the protein based medicine. The new finding promises to have a great application potential which will make insulin pills safe and effective for consumption.