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Abu Dhabi researchers develop oral insulin to manage diabetes

Researchers from Abu Dhabi developed an insulin oral delivery system that could revolutionize the medication of diabetic patients.

The said technology, which was developed by Trabolsi Research Group at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), uses layers of nanosheets with insulin loaded between layers for protection.

According to the study published in the journal Chemical Science, orally delivered insulin is capable of reaching systemic circulation after passing through the liver similar to physiologically secreted insulin.

“Our work overcomes insulin oral delivery barriers by using insulin-loaded nCOF nanoparticles which exhibit insulin protection in the stomach as well as a glucose-responsive release,” NYUAD’s Research Scientist Farah Benyettou said.

NYUAD’s Research Scientist Farah Benyettou and Program Head of Chemistry Ali Trabolsi.

Tests done on diabetic subjects revealed that their sugar levels completely returned to normal within two hours after swallowing the nanoparticles.

Benyettou added that gastro-resistant imine-linked-covalent organic framework nanoparticles (nCOFs) insulin delivery is biocompatible in contrast to other two-FDA approved techbologies for oral insulin.

The new treatment is “highly stable in the stomach, specific, and able to deliver the right amount of insulin based on the diabetic subject’s blood sugar levels.”

The researchers developed the treatment in collaboration with an international team of researchers from Algeria, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.

A US patent application is pending for this innovative technology.

Staff Report

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