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SCIENTISTS at the University of KwaZulu-Natal have discovered a new method to administer insulin into the bloodstream via a skin patch.
The research, presented at the Society for Endocrinology meeting in Manchester in the UK recently suggests that this technique could have potential future applications in the management of diabetes.
The research team, led by Professor Cephas Musabayane, developed the patch that is placed on the skin to deliver insulin into the bloodstream.
They tested the patch on diabetic male rats.
Musabayane said the findings were very exciting because they showed a possible new mechanism for delivering insulin into the bloodstream.
"We found that our insulin patches were able to successfully deliver insulin across the skin and into the bloodstream in a dose-dependent fashion," Musabayane said.
He said they know that using this patch, they can transport insulin across the skin and into the blood.
"The next step in our research is to find out more information about the mechanisms underpinning this phenomenon," he said.
"This will help control the dose of insulin that is delivered to the blood more precisely and examine how this technique can be improved to control blood glucose levels over a longer time period."
Since insulin therapy was introduced, the most common method to take it has been an injection.