348964 “Smart” Nanocomposite for Enhanced Drug Delivery of Insulin

Monday, November 4, 2013
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton)
Adam Milton, Department of Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Recent proliferation of diabetes requires a smarter delivery system for insulin to pass into the bloodstream. Currently, 7% or 20.8 million Americans suffer from type I or type II diabetes. As a result, many people could benefit from a more convenient drug delivery system. Insulin most commonly is delivered through subcutaneous systems, such as a pump or injection, directly into the bloodstream. These systems, however, are extremely invasive; lowering patient compliance with insulin regiments, especially in pediatric patients. Therefore, delivering insulin through an oral route becomes a convenient and desired solution to this problem. Administering insulin through the GI tract, however, has its own problems. Insulin is degraded by the proteolytic enzymes in the GI tract and is unable to cross the intestinal mucosal lining – which is a barrier that must be navigated to enter the blood stream. For this reason, a nanocomposite delivery vehicle composed of silica and chitosan is proposed to increase the uptake of insulin in the bloodstream when it is administered orally. The proposed pH-responsive nanocomposite is designed to swell at a predetermined pH in order to control release of insulin within a particular zone of the GI tract (e.g. stomach or intestine). Chitosan has been noted for its ability to adhere and interact with tissue surfaces in the stomach and intestine ultimately furthering the insulin’s ability to reach the bloodstream.  Investigation of chitosan and other biopolymers for mucoadhesive properties will be done in order to increase the bioavailability of insulin. Furthermore, engineering a nanocomposite drug delivery system, as proposed, spearheads a movement toward higher patient compliance by improving the oral bioavailability of medications that are not traditionally administered orally.

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