Currently, many diabetics rely on insulin pumps, but they need to be replaced regularly because of so-called profibres. When insulin compounds accumulate and create a risk of clogging, they form within a day or two. But Australian scientists have devised what they call a safer alternative, with egg yolks as their starting point.
The formation of primary fiber means that diabetics need to replace their insulin pumps every 24 to 72 hours to avoid the risk of dangerous blockages, which can be life-threatening. In addition to the health hazards to patients, the need to replace pumps regularly increases the amount of work required to manage their disease, which means that some drugs are often wasted.
Therefore, there is great interest in developing synthetic insulin that does not function in this way. Researchers at the Floridian Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne solved the problem with a new technology developed in collaboration with Japanese scientists that uses egg yolks to make insulin, giving greater freedom in the final design.
Study lead author Akhter Hossain explained to New Atlas: “Using egg yolks as a rich source of homogenous sugar is a novel way we have developed with our Japanese partners at Osaka University in Japan. This is a key factor that allows us to explore the location of sugar chemistry on insulin molecules to address fibrous fibrillation without affecting its activity. “
The researchers said the finished glycoside was a raw material and reported that it performed well in early tests.
“Our study not only shows that, even at high temperatures and concentrations, insulin to sugar does not form primary fibers, but it is more stable in human serum than natural insulin,” Hossain said. All in all, these findings may make insulin sugar an excellent candidate drug in insulin pumps and a way to improve the shelf life of insulin products. “
The researchers estimate that if insulin’s effectiveness could be extended from two days to six days, it could save about $1 billion a year for the 350,000 people in the U.S. who use insulin pumps. While the breakthroughs and early results are encouraging, the team recognizes that much remains to be done.
“This chemical method is a principle-based validation study that produces homogeneous insulin-acceding compounds on a laboratory scale,” Hossain said. The next step is to synthesize sugar insulin at scale in a cost-effective manner, conduct preclinical toxicology research and evaluation in animal models, and eventually collaborate with pharmaceutical companies in clinical studies. “
The team’s findings were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.