MIT scientists have engineered a new type of insulin that can circulate in the bloodstream for at least 10 hours and gets activated only when blood sugar levels are too high.
For patients with diabetes, insulin is critical to maintaining good health and normal blood-sugar levels. However, it’s not an ideal solution because it can be difficult for patients to determine exactly how much insulin they need to prevent their blood sugar from swinging too high or too low.
MIT engineers hope to improve treatment for diabetes patients with their new type of engineered insulin (Ins-PBA-F).
Their modified insulin can circulate in the bloodstream for at least 10 hours, and that it responds rapidly to changes in blood-sugar levels. This could eliminate the need for patients to repeatedly monitor their blood sugar levels and inject insulin throughout the day.
This new form of insulin would not only circulate for a long time, but would be activated only when needed — that is, when blood-sugar levels are too high. This would prevent patients’ blood-sugar levels from becoming dangerously low.
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