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"Smart insulin"

The daily lives of more than 46 million people around the world with type 1 diabetes can become much easier and safer.

The development belongs to researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the biotechnology firm Gubra. The technology facilitates and safer regulates blood sugar levels in patients with type 1 diabetes.

"That's why we've taken the first step towards a kind of insulin that can self-regulate according to a patient's blood sugar levels. This has enormous potential to significantly improve the lives of people with type 1 diabetes," explains Professor Knud J. S. Wilson. Jensen, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, is one of the researchers on this new insulin.

Effective in rats

Researchers have actually developed a new kind of insulin with a built-in molecular bond that can sense the amount of glucose in the body. As blood sugar levels rise, the molecule becomes more active and releases more insulin. If the body has a decrease in blood sugar levels, less insulin is secreted.

"Today, a person with type 1 diabetes has to inject insulin many times throughout the day and often monitor their blood sugar levels with a glucometer. The new development allows a person to inject a new insulin molecule less often during the day and the less to think about it. The hardest part is that insulin always works the same way. It lowers blood sugar levels, although this may not be what the patient needs. That's what we're looking to solve with a new molecule," says Knud J. Jensen.

While the new "automated" insulin is a significant step towards improving diabetes care, it will be some time before the revolutionary insulin becomes part of the daily lives of people with diabetes.

The developers tested the insulin molecule on rats, and it has proven to be effective. The next step is to develop a molecule that will work faster and more accurately. And finally, testing it on humans is a process that can take many years.

*based on the materials of the University of Copenhagen
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