The issue of insulin-dependent diabetes has long been discussed. No wonder, as the problem concerns more than 5% of the world population. However, despite the enormous efforts and funds spent on its solution, the scientists so far have failed to replace the injections with pills. The difficulty is that insulin (like any other polypeptide) gets easily destroyed under the influence of proteolytic enzymes in the stomach and small intestines. The scientists have tried a variety of means: insulin plasters, inhalations, capsules covered with a special protective coating, but none of the above has ensured the required effect. The amount of insulin thus getting into the blood is insufficient for normal functioning of the organism.
Chemists from the the Topichev Institute for Petrochemical Synthesis have suggested a unique and efficient solution to the problem having split it into two parts. To ensure that the remedy gets into the blood out of the pill, it is required that the remedy slipped `safely` through the stomach - this is stage one. Then it is necessary to make sure that the remedy gets into the blood in the small intestines quicker than the enzymes would destroy it - this is stage two.
The first part of the problem can be solved easily. It is sufficient to cover the pill with a layer that is resistant to the stomach ferments action and dissolves once the pill gets into the intestine. Quite harmless polyacrylic or polymethacrylic acid suits this purpose, therefore the researchers have proposed to use it as a coating. However, in such case insulin will not `live` long enough - it will be destroyed by the enzymes earlier than it gets through the intestine walls. At this stage works the major specificity that differs the pills from all the previous remedy forms applied.
Tatiana Pitchugina | alphagalileo
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