Although insulin analogs have markedly improved glycemic control for people with diabetes, glycemic excursions still cause major health problems and complications. In particular, the narrow therapeutic window of current insulin therapy makes it extremely difficult to maintain normoglycemia without risking severe hypoglycemia. Currently, there are no FDA-approved insulin therapeutics whose bioactivity is regulated by blood glucose levels. This review discusses recent progress on developing glucose-responsive insulin (GRI) bioconjugates without the need of exogenous matrices. Through this approach, tremendous efforts have been made over the years to demonstrate the promise of better glycemic control and reduced risk of hypoglycemia. Last, we discuss future directions of GRI development with a goal to maximize the glucose responsiveness.
Keywords: bioconjugate; glucose-responsive insulin; glycemic control; hypoglycemia.