Aims/hypothesis: A patient with (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus receives at least one subcutaneous insulin injection a day to maintain low serum glucose concentrations. Since patients' compliance with such dosage regimens is too low, the development of an oral formula is clearly attractive. We present the development of a liquid formula that can be easily dispersed in water to produce particles named "nanocubicles" which efficiently encapsulate insulin.
Methods: Fasted streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were administered orally with particles encapsulating insulin, and particles without insulin or soluble insulin in water. Groups of rats were also injected soluble insulin in PBS for control. Blood glucose concentration and insulin concentration were measured 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 h after the administration of the insulin formulas.
Results: In vitro experiments show that the particles can be taken up by the Caco-2 cells at a high ratio. The serum glucose concentration was controlled for more than 6 h after oral insulin administration but returned to the basal concentration in 3 h when 1 IU/kg of insulin was injected intravenously.
Conclusion/interpretation: Our biocompatible and stable oral insulin formulation is easy to prepare and produces reproducible hypoglycaemic effects, therefore we anticipate clinical acceptance and utilization of this form of insulin therapy.