A potential medical breakthrough could revolutionize insulin deficiency treatment. Anyone with type 1 diabetes will attest to the daily hardships of injecting insulin to maintain blood sugar levels. Hope may be on the horizon as scientists at Birmingham University, UK embark on a game-changing project. Work is underway to develop a 'smart capsule' that would release insulin into the body when blood sugar levels are too high.

'Smart capsules' are in development to replace insulin needles

The project is partly funded by charity, JRDF who aim to 'create a world without type 1 diabetes'.

Researchers have discovered molecules which bind to glucose. The plan is to take this newly found research and implement it to make an insulin containing shell that will melt away upon making contact with glucose in the blood.

The project is headed by senior lecturer at Birmingham Uni's chemistry school, Dr. John Fossey. Dr. Fossey is quoted by The Diabetes Times expressing his desire to empower people affected by insulin deficiency, giving them more independence and control over their blood sugar management. He hopes the new medicine will give young people who are dependent on insulin injections more freedom to enjoy leisure time with friends without needing constant supervision.

JRDF Director of Mission, Sarah Johnson is quoted by Diabetes UK with the optimistic vision that this medicine could reduce insulin treatment to as little as once a week, replicating the functions of the pancreas

What is type 1 diabetes and who is affected by it?

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the pancreas fails to produce insulin.

Unlike type 2 diabetes, obesity is not a factor in its cause. The World Health Organization reports that the global number of type 1 sufferers reached 422 million in 2014 and in 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths worldwide were attributable to the condition. This new research could bring relief and a better life to the millions affected by this life-threatening illness.

Smart capsules are just one of the advances being made in medical science to help alleviate and eradicate all forms of diabetes. Others include an insulin patch and new weight loss programs that have reversed type 2 diabetes in some cases. The future is looking brighter and better for diabetics.