By Natalie Nagpal
Currently, more than 350 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes. This means that one in twelve in the adult population will experience complications that could lead to blindness and cancer.
Soon, thanks to researchers at the Imperial College in London, people suffering from type 2 diabetes melititus will no longer need to prick their finger multiple times per day. Not only will this method reduce physical pain to patients but more importantly, complications such as hypoglycemia and cardiovascular disease will be drastically reduced.
A member of the team from the medical department at Imperial London College, Dr. David Hodson states, “It should also reduce complications by targeting drug activity to where it’s needed, in the pancreas”. So how exactly does this miracle drug called sulphonylurea work? A specific modification was made to sulfonylureas that caused it to become photoswitchable- meaning that shining a blue light will enable the release of the insulin and then turning off the light will block the activity that was initiated.
By turning on blue LED lights attached to the skin, the shape of the sulphonylurea will change and activate the target tissue and control the blood sugar levels. Elevating the circulating insulin is extremely beneficial because as Hodson stated, targeting vital tissues to improve the uptake of glucose is much better than forcing tissues to consume glucose that it doesn’t really need.
This medical breakthrough is extremely exiting and I look forward to the positive changes it will have on the millions affected by melitutus.
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