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NDSU researcher receives grant to pursue novel insulin delivery system for diabetes patients

photo of Dr. Jagdish SinghAn NDSU researcher has received a grant from National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health to search for a new insulin delivery system to combat type 1 diabetes. Jagdish Singh, professor and chair of pharmaceutical sciences, is the principal investigator for the $348,000 grant for a project titled "Modification of insulin molecule for controlled delivery at basal level from triblock copolymers."

According to Singh, insulin delivery systems will be tested in rats that have diabetes through streptozoticin, known as STZ, induction. NDSU researchers will measure serum insulin and glucose levels.

"STZ-induced diabetes leads to reduction in body weight," Singh explained. "Therefore, the change in body weight in diabetic rats before and after induction of diabetes, as well as after insulin treatment, will be evaluated."

Singh's work will explore a "controlled delivery" that provides insulin to the patient continuously between meals and throughout the night. The proposed system would sidestep problems associated with insulin burst release by reducing the diffusion of zinc-insulin-chitosan complex from the polymeric hydrogel matrix. The aim is to stabilize the protein inside the delivery system while providing a controlled release of insulin.

"The long-term goal of this project is to develop novel controlled release delivery systems that can deliver insulin at the basal level in a chemically stable and biologically active form for up to three months after a single injection in patients with type 1 diabetes," Singh said.

Two doctoral graduate students and two undergraduate students will assist Singh with the project by conducting experiments in vitro and in vivo in the diabetic rats.

"This research will place us in an outstanding position to transition our lab investigations into a clinical phase to test the efficacy as well as the safety of the first controlled delivery system releasing insulin at basal level for the treatment of type 1 diabetes," Singh said. "Also, research experience gained by the students in pharmaceutics and drug delivery will be invaluable in preparing them for a future career in biomedical research."

The research is funded through NIH grant R15GM114701.

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