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Question:

From Uniontown, Pennsylvania, USA:

Do you know anything about the studies that were being conducted a few years back on an "insulin patch" to be worn on the arm? I first read about it in the Diabetes Forecast. I haven't seen anything about it in a few years. I believe the studies were being conducted in Miami Florida.

I have been an insulin dependant diabetic for 25 years. I am now 31.

Answer:

I think you probably refer to another potential route of insulin administration techniques, i.e., the transdermal insulin delivery via iontophoresis, where highly ionized monomeric forms of insulin are transported through the skin, assisted by the flux of an electric current which alters the lipophilic barrier of the skin. In fact, no skin absorption of insulin is seen without iontophoresis due to the chemical properties of insulin molecule. Transdermal insulin delivery using a portable battery-powered iontophoresis device has been reported few years ago. Iontophoresis of conventional insulin in humans was actually unsuccessful presumably due to its weak ionization and partial polymerization of insulin although a modified, strongly ionized monomeric form of insulin was successfully in animals.

Transdermal application of insulin in a lipid formulation has been reported to produce significant blood sugar lowering effect in mice. Only one study of transdermal insulin administration by iontophoresis in diabetic patients has been reported so far. In this placebo-controlled crossover study of six type 2 diabetic patients, transdermal insulin combined with sulfonylurea tablets produced slightly increased serum insulin concentrations in all patients and improved daily mean blood sugar values in four patients compared sulfonylurea therapy alone. Although preliminary and limited to a very low number of patients studied, these results still await further clinical investigations into this method of insulin administration.

MS

Original posting 4 Dec 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:56
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