New Insulin-producing Device to Substitute Injections in Near Future

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Diabetics, across the globe, in most of the cases rely on constant injections of insulin in order to control their high level of sugar. However, MIT spinout Sigilion Therapeutics has developed a new implantable device, which will be producing insulin and may replace injection soon enough.

Recently, Sigilon entered into a partnership with a pharmaceutical company named Eli Lilly and Company in order to develop the concept of ‘Living Drug Factories.’ These will be encapsulated and engineered cells, which can be safely implanted into the human body and further manufacture insulin in the next few months or years. In addition, these cells may also be engineered to secrete some other hormones, including antibodies and proteins.

In this technology, the device encases the cells and protects them from the immune system of the patient. This can also be combined with the engineered cells that produces a target therapeutic, especially insulin. The insulin-producing device is around 1 millimeter in diameter and are tiny hydrogel beads, which can be implanted into the human body with minimally invasive procedure.

The invention of this device is going to help diabetics to have living drug factories in their bodies, which will deliver therapeutics at the right location and the right amount. The inventors of this device states that they are hoping that this device can be placed inside the patient and it will avoid the need for immunosuppression and will offer long-term therapy.

As most of the diabetes patients need to prick their fingers a lot more times in order to draw blood and check their blood sugar levels. In case of high levels, they also need to inject dosage of insulin. This device will produce insulin and will restrict the need of injections in the next few years.

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