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Cheap and Effective Insulin Treatment Now Available for Diabetes Patients

Update Date: Apr 13, 2016 04:56 AM EDT
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Researchers are now working to create a cheap and effective insulin treatment to help the low-income diabetes patients. Aside from being cheap, the insulin treatment is in the form of a painless patch.

Researchers from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University try to copy working beta cells, a tiny cell that produces insulin in our body. Recently, they developed the Smart Cell Patch that could help diabetes patients to have insulin without having a painful session every day.

The Smart Cell Patch is a synthetic patch filled with natural beta cells that produce doses of insulin to control blood sugar levels without any complications like hypoglycemia. Last year, proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported the concept of Smart Insulin Patch, which has the same concept as the Smart Cell Patch.

Both concepts are in synthetic patch form that has covered with tiny needles. However, the previous version of the patch was filled with manmade bubbles of insulin, while the new version had integrated the needles with live beta cells, according to Today Medical Developments.

According to Zhen Gu, Ph.D., "This study provides a potential solution for the tough problem of rejection, which has long plagued studies on pancreatic cell transplants for diabetes." Gu added that the demonstration shows that they can create a bridge between physiological signs within the body and therapeutic cell outside the body that keeps the glucose level manageable.

The insulin was produced by beta cells in the pancreas. For people who have a healthy body, they manage to produce, keep, and release the peptide hormone to help processed the sugar that builds up in the bloodstream after a meal.

However, patients who suffer diabetes has the cell that most likely damage or unable to produce enough insulin to maintain their blood sugar level in a normal condition.

"Some of my patients have to make the choice between rent or insulin," said Dr. Bismruta Misra, an endocrinologist with the Stamford Health Medical Group and the Diabetes & Endocrine Center at Stamford Hospital. "So they spread out taking insulin [injecting it less frequently than a doctor has prescribed] or don't take it," he added, NHV reported.

The cost of insulin was estimated from $25 up to $600 a month and many low-income diabetes patients are forced to choose between paying their bills and paying for the treatment. According to Philip Clarke who conducted the study, the cost of the insulin increased by three-fold from 2002 to 2013.

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