Monday, 3 March 2008

IICT develops nasal insulin using nanotechnology


March 3, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 2: Researchers at the city-based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology have developed a method for delivery of insulin through the nasal route using nanotechnology with 98 per cent success rate.
This will put an end to daily painful insulin injections. Since insulin is delivered through nose using very minute or nanoparticles, the delivery is quite effective without side effects.
Scientists the world over have been researching on alternative delivery systems for insulin for diabetics who need daily insulin intake from outside. Several methods including oral and nasal routes have been developed but most of them have been provide ineffective and with side effects.
A team of IICT researchers from the pharmacology division including AK Jain and PV Diwan developed muco-adhesive nanoparticles that could be an exciting prospect for trans-nasal insulin delivery, as they have higher surface area to cover highly vascularised nasal absorptive area providing a greater concentration gradient.
The team prepared starch nanoparticles by different cross linkers using various methodologies and loaded them with insulin. Emulsion cross linked particles are smaller in size compared to the existing gel method. The team successfully reduced the size further using epichlorohydrin as cross linking agent.
Nanoparticles of epichlorohydrin emulsion were further optimised with variable cross linking to evaluate the effect of degree of cross linking on in vivo (animal subjects) performance.
In the laboratory tests (in vitro), a size dependent first order diffusion controlled insulin release with an initial burst effect was found. It is higher
with nanoparticles of small size and least cross linking.
The IICT's formulation sodium glycocholate showed a superior hypoglycaemic (lower sugar levels) action compared to other nanoparticles formulations.
"The hypoglycaemic effects were more pronounced with medium cross linked nanoparticles, which showed a nadir of 70 per cent reduction of plasma glucose and significant effects until six hours," they pointed out.
The peak plasma insulin level of IICT's formulation vindicates the pharmacodynamic effect, which was fo und to be superior compared to all other formulations. The release rate and higher associated surface area might work in tandem, and could be greatly amplified when combined with permeation enhancers to make starch nanoparticles an efficient trans-nasal muco-adhesive carrier of insulin.

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