Improving Diabetes Treatment: Using Drug-Loaded Nanostructures for Oral Delivery

Improving Diabetes Treatment: Using Drug-Loaded Nanostructures for Oral Delivery

Posted by Leanne Kodsman on

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New research published in AAPS PharmSciTech looks at creating a nanodelivery system containing a mucoadhesive polymer hyaluronic acid for oral delivery, using Metformin as the model drug.


Did you know? For this study, Single Donor Human Whole Blood was obtained commercially from Innovative Research Inc. We love seeing how our products are being used in real-life applications and contributing to scientific achievements!

New research published in AAPS PharmSciTech looks at creating a nanodelivery system containing a mucoadhesive polymer hyaluronic acid for oral delivery, using Metformin as the model drug.

Diabetes & Metformin

The instances of diabetes diagnoses are on the rise around the world, with an estimated 422M adults affected by the disease in 2014 (up from 180M in 1980). In the US alone, more than 9% of the population were living with a diabetes diagnosis in 2014, with an estimated 8M people going undiagnosed. Diabetes is a chronic condition resulting from the body's ineffective use of insulin, which creates issues in how the body processes glucose.

Traditionally, diabetes is treated with oral drug therapy - and if this method is ineffective by itself, the condition may require insulin therapy. One of the common first treatments tried is metformin, which works on liver, muscle, and adipose tissues to lower glucose levels (but this medication does not stimulate insulin secretion - so it requires insulin for its action, acting as an anti-hyperglycemic agent).

Enhancing Absorption Across the Intestinal Membrane

Metformin's oral bioavailability is limited. Although it has a high solubility, it has poor intestinal absorption. The scientists wanted to develop an oral formulation of metformin, with the goal of enhancing its absorption rate across the intestinal membrane which could, in theory, reduce the minimum effective dose and as a result, also potentially reduce the associated side effects of the medication.

For use in this study, Single Donor Human Whole Blood was obtained commercially from Innovative Research Inc.

The researchers dealt with the development and characterization of mucoadhesive hyaluronic acid nanostructures containing metformin for oral delivery. The nanostructures being studied maintained a uniform size distribution and high drug content, remaining stable over the studied period of 2 months, and the researchers found them to be non-toxic at therapeutic concentrations to Caco-2 cells and compatible with RBCs (without causing cell lysis). Future studies will look at sustaining the release of metformin.

Further Reading & References:

Metformin-Loaded Hyaluronic Acid Nanostructure for Oral Delivery. Bhujbal, S. & Dash, A.K. AAPS PharmSciTech (2018). https://doi.org/10.1208/s12249-018-1085-1


Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply over 3,000 high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.

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    Innovative Research was established in 1998 after the realization that dependable, high-quality, and affordable research materials were hard to come by. Starting with core products like human plasma and serum, Innovative Research has grown to be a trusted supplier of all lab reagents, including human biologicals and ELISA kits. Today, we manufacture and supply thousands of high-quality human and animal biologicals including plasma, serum, tissues, and proteins.


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