Sunderland research helps develop nose gel

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

DIABETICS may never need to take insulin injections again after scientists developed a once-a-day nasal gel.

Research led by Dr Hamde Nazar, a senior lecturer in Pharmacy Practice at the University of Sunderland could put an end to daily injections of insulin for Type 1 diabetes sufferers and those Type 2 diabetics requiring insulin injections.

Results showed that gel loaded with insulin reduces the blood glucose levels over 24 hours in a diabetic model when administered through the nose and into the bloodstream.

When insulin was taken via an injection it took just nine hours to return to their normal levels.

It is thought that around 300,000 people in the UK suffer from Type-1 diabetes that destroys insulin-making cells in the pancreas.

Sufferers of the condition have to inject themselves a number of times during the day to prevent the levels of glucose in the blood going too high and keep it under control.

Injections can be an inconvenience for those with diabetes as well as make them distressed. A nasal spray could be a much more attractive alternative treatment and less painful.

Once in the nose the solution heats up to nasal temperature and becomes a gel, allowing a longer residence time in the nasal cavity to be effective. If it didn't it would cleared by beating hairs called cilia in the nose and would not make an impact.

Dr Nazar said: "This process could potentially be beneficial because it would reduce the number of injections patients would have to administer. Some people have to take up to five injections per day. This could replace some of those injections."

Research led by Dr Nazar involved colleagues in Portsmouth, Lebanon, Italy and Greece.

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