Managing diabetes with nanomedicine: challenges and opportunities

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2015 Jan;14(1):45-57. doi: 10.1038/nrd4477. Epub 2014 Nov 28.


Nanotechnology-based approaches hold substantial potential for improving the care of patients with diabetes. Nanoparticles are being developed as imaging contrast agents to assist in the early diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Glucose nanosensors are being incorporated in implantable devices that enable more accurate and patient-friendly real-time tracking of blood glucose levels, and are also providing the basis for glucose-responsive nanoparticles that better mimic the body's physiological needs for insulin. Finally, nanotechnology is being used in non-invasive approaches to insulin delivery and to engineer more effective vaccine, cell and gene therapies for type 1 diabetes. Here, we analyse the current state of these approaches and discuss key issues for their translation to clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Disease Management
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Nanomedicine / methods*
  • Nanoparticles / administration & dosage*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents