“Smart” Insulin Used to Prevent Hypoglycemia

When medical professionals think of insulin the first adverse effect that comes to their minds is hypoglycemia. Their possible thoughts may be, what if there was an agent or drug that could possibly prevent against these hypoglycemia episodes? Well, bioengineers at the University of California Los Angeles may have found an agent to prevent the risk of hypoglycemia episodes that occur with the use of insulin. The new “i-insulin” is a form of “smart” insulin that has been developed to prevent serious events of hypoglycemia. This “smart” insulin works in response to changing blood glucose levels. Perhaps “i-insulin” may be the future of adjunctive therapy with injectable insulin.

Insulin is a protein hormone produced and released from the beta cells of pancreatic islets when blood glucose begins to rise from the foods consumed. Insulin aids in regulating the body’s blood glucose levels, by uptaking the glucose from the blood into the cells for energy. Patients with diabetes either have a deficiency in insulin secretion, where the body is not producing insulin to be released; or insulin action, where insulin is not effectively being used. This disease affects about 415 million people worldwide. For those with type 1 diabetes or progressive type 2 diabetes, exogenous insulin is injected into the body daily or over continuous infusion to correct this metabolic disorder.

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