Many people with chronic conditions successfully manage them with pills. This, however, is not the case for those of us living with Type 1 diabetes.
When first diagnosed I remember being told that the main issue with insulin is that it was a protein, and that as a consequence, it would be digested if taken in oral form. While there has been a number of attempts at alternative methods of delivery, we are still ultimately stuck with shots (or variations like a pump).
This may now be about to change. A group of scientists have combined nanotechnology and magnetism to create a delivery system that is simple, but extremely durable and accurate.
According to an article published in Diabetes Health, “The Boston researchers’ solution is a small implantable device, less than a half inch in diameter, that is placed in a patient’s body. The device contains a drug-filled membrane that is also embedded with nanoparticles of magnetite, a naturally magnetic mineral. The nanoparticles are about 1/100,000th the width of a human hair.”
“The amount of the drug that a patient receives can be controlled by how long the magnetic field is applied. Longer pulses produce higher doses. Theoretically, diabetes patients using such a system would be able to self-administer insulin simply by passing a magnetic field near their implanted drug delivery devices for a set amount of time.”