Diabetes: from MIT insulin that is activated only if needed

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Elia Tabuenca García
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A new type of insulin, which is activated only when needed, is set to revolutionize the lives of patients suffering from diabetes. It was created by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston and is able to understand when blood sugar levels are too high



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A new type of insulin, which is activated only when needed, is bound to revolutionize the lives of patients suffering from diabetes. It was created by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston and is able to understand when the levels of blood sugar they are too high.

For patients with paroxysmal or permanent diabetes, insulin it is vital for maintaining good health and normal blood sugar levels. However, it is not an ideal solution because it can be difficult for patients to determine exactly how much they need to prevent glycemia to get up or down too much.

The iinsulin injections, which form the backbone of patient treatments diabetics, they can be of different types. Some people take a long-acting insulin, which stays in the blood for up to 24 hours, to make sure there is always some when needed. Other patients calculate how much to inject the medicine based on the carbohydrates consumed or the sugar in the blood.

MIT engineers hope to improve treatment with this new 'smart' insulin. This can eliminate the need to repeatedly monitor blood sugar levels and inject insulin throughout the day. And it would decrease the risk of hypoglycemia, which can lead to shock and even death.

“The real challenge is always determining the right one amount of insulin when you need it, because if you have insufficient insulin your blood sugar level goes up, and if there is too much, it can fall dangerously. Currently the insulins available act independently of the sugar levels in the patient ", explains Daniel Anderson, of the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering, and a member of MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science.



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