Aug 15, 2012Science and Technology
Taking routine injections out of the routine

Nearly one million individuals with diabetes have to inject themselves daily with insulin. Patients with HIV and certain types of cancer also require frequent injections, a necessary inconvenience with life-saving implications. Cambridge University researchers have developed an injectable hydrogel which will allow for the slow, sustained release of many of the compounds that these individuals must inject daily -- for as much as six months. For many patients, this could mean reducing 365 injections per year to just two. "The hydrogels protect the proteins so that they remain bio-active for long periods, and allow the proteins to remain in their native state," says Dr Oren Scherman of the Department of Chemistry, who led the research. The researchers can control the release rate by varying medicine concentration within the hydrogel. They anticipate that this research can also help patients that have difficulty adhering to their treatment regimes.

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