MEdication for Diabetes with Insulin Contained In Nanogels – MEDICIN
Development of smart insulin carriers for closed–loop delivery
Diabetes mellitus is a disorder of glucose regulation, characterized by an accumulating glucose concentration in the blood. It has considerably expanded and represents a tremendous social, economical and political challenge of our century. Actual treatments for insulin-dependent patients are made of multiple glycemia controls followed by insulin injections, administered daily. This method is not only a heavy burden for patients, but dosages are imperfect and may lead to severe hypoglycemia. Therefore, new treatments based on a closed-loop approach would be a considerable progress. Nanotechnology offers a tremendous opportunity for the design of injectable carriers for advanced drug delivery. Diabetes treatment/therapy requires nanocontainers with the ability to deliver insulin at a suitable concentration and time scale as a function of glucose concentration, while respecting the criteria of biocompatibility and resorption. The goal of this project is thus to design biocompatible glucose-responsive nanovehicles with the purpose to be used as self-regulated insulin. The MEDICIN project intends to develop intelligent insulin nanocarriers, which would deliver the right dose of insulin at the right time, as a function of blood glycemia. Such objects would allow the development of a new injectable treatment, to be administered once or twice a week. It should offer a better regulation of glycemia as well as considerably decrease medical expenditures for health care.
Development of biocompatible and bioresorbable nanogels
Nanogels are colloidal particles made of cross-linked water-swollen polymer. Thanks to their porosity, they can entrap a drug and release it a rate that is dependent on diffusion throughout the network. We proposed to develop glucose-responsive nanogels, which can swell proportionally to glycemia and increase their porosity accordingly. This should lead to glucose-triggered insulin delivery. We have chosen to design new nanogels using a biopolymer as a constituting backbone, because of its acknowledged properties of biocompatibility, degradability and stealthness. It is chemically modified by a glucose ligand and by cross-linkable moieties, which will further bring the 3D properties. Nanometric networks have been obtained by cross-linking the modified polymer into confined nanoreactor. Their properties of insulin encapsulation and release have been studied, as well as their interactions with living systems. The structure of the matrix will be tuned to match with the requirements of the pharmaceutical application.
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