Dr. Zhen Gu’s drug delivery systems, specifically for diabetic care and cancer therapeutics, have been highly praised in the past few years. Now, Zhen and his lab have done it again: they have developed a modified injectable insulin delivery system based on glucosamine-laden red blood cells. When blood glucose levels are high, the insulin – attached to the red blood cell via glucosamine – detaches from the cell and binds to insulin receptors all over the body. In the mouse study, this injectable was able to lower glucose levels in the blood for more than 2 days – a full 36 hours longer than other injectable insulin. Next, Zhen’s group will study the efficacy of this modified insulin when delivered by his novel smart-needle patch.
The study is published in Advanced Materials under lead author Chao Wang, Postdoctoral Researcher. Co-authors are Yanqi Ye, Wujin Su, and Jicheng Yu, Ph.D. students in Gu’s group; Jingqiang Wang, a postdoctoral researcher in Gu’s group; and David Lawrence of UNC.