Australian scientists have found that insulin can be administered without an injection. This is welcome news for the over 371 million people living with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
New research reveals that insulin binds to its receptor in cells, which allows the body to absorb sugar (or glucose) from the blood for treating diabetes.
“Previous research has taken place without a detailed picture of how insulin actually interacts with the cell and [takes] glucose from the blood,” says Mike Lawrence, lead scientist from Australia’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne. “We’ve provided a three-dimensional view of [how] insulin engages its receptor… and moves to engage the insulin hormone…you might call it a ‘molecular handshake’.”
Scientists believe that these new findings could lead to new ideas for drug makers when it comes to insulin delivery devices for the next generation, and Lawrence foresees alternatives to injections, potentially with more effective, longer-lasting insulin products.