MIT’s Mathematical model could lead to better treatment for diabetes


One promising new strategy to treat diabetes
is to give patients insulin that circulates in their bloodstream, staying dormant until
activated by rising blood sugar levels. i-e Insulin will be used only when there is
a need for it. This kind of insulin is known as GRI (glucose-responsive
insulin) However, no GRIs have been approved for human use, and the only candidate that
entered the clinical trial stage was discontinued after it failed to show effectiveness in humans. MIT researchers have now developed a mathematical
model that can predict the behavior of different kinds of GRIs in both humans and in rodents. They believe this model could be used to design
GRIs that are more likely to be effective in humans, and to avoid drug designs less
likely to succeed in costly clinical trials. There are GRIs that will fail in humans but
will show success in animals, and these new models can predict this. Patients with diabetes typically have to measure
their blood sugar throughout the day and inject themselves with insulin when their blood sugar
gets too high. As a potential alternative, many diabetes
researchers are now working to develop glucose-responsive insulin, which could be injected just once
a day and would spring into action whenever blood sugar levels rise. Scientists have used a variety of strategies
to design such drugs. For instance, insulin might be carried by
a polymer particle that dissolves when glucose is present, releasing the drug. Or, insulin could be modified with molecules
that can bind to glucose and trigger insulin activation. As the MIT’s new model can predict which types
of glucose-responsive insulin will work in humans and animals, the scientists can save
time and cost by avoiding the researches that are mostly going to fail.

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