People with diabetes, especially the type one variety, are forced to constantly monitor their blood glucose levels and, when indicated, inject themselves with insulin that their bodies are unable to produce in sufficient quantities. The solution is imperfect, not the least because it requires the diabetes sufferer to continuously monitor and adjust their blood glucose 24/7. The holy grail of diabetes research has been to find a way to control and adjust blood glucose automatically.

Some researchers are working on artificial pancreases, which contains the cells that put out insulin into the blood stream.

But, according to Science Alert, a group of researchers have developed an insulin patch that could work in the same way as the human pancreas.

The patch is attached to the skin with microscopic needles that penetrate to the blood stream. The patch contains the some sorts of cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. When the patch senses that blood glucose has started to rise, the cells start to secrete insulin into the blood stream. The patch has worked remarkably well in mouse studies.

The introduction of the insulin patch in a clinical setting is years away.

The patch has to be refined for human use and clinical trials have to be conducted before it is approved for use with patients. But when the patch becomes available, it may revolutionize the way people with diabetes deal with their disease.

One of the other problems with the monitor and inject method is that diabetics can misjudge how much insulin they need. Too little or too much can have dire health consequences.

The patch can automate the monitor and inject process, relieving diabetics from the burden of having to manage their disease.

Diabetes is the cause of a lot of other medical conditions. Nerve damage can cause harm to the extremities, sometimes making amputation of the feet necessary. Diabetics often experience blindness and are more prone to heart attacks and other potentially fatal occurrences. If and when the patch becomes available, these complications of diabetes will become rarer, much to the benefit of the lifespan and quality of life of people with the disease.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!