Dr Mark Eccleston has been awarded a three month project grant from Diabetes UK.
Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. There are two main types of diabetes, type I and II. Whilst type II (commonly known as adult onset) can often be controlled in the early stages by diet and exercise and with currently available tablets, later stage type II and all type I diabetics require insulin injections or even insulin pumps in the case of type I diabetes.
The concept of this project is to develop a system that can be taken as a once daily tablet that would allow accurate control of systemic glucose levels without the need for strict regulation of meal times and diet. The tablet would contain glucose responsive nanoparticles that would release insulin when required by the body as glucose levels increased.
This would give a considerable improvement in the quality of life for diabetics in the short term but should also reduce the occurrence of long term health problems associated with diabetes such as heart disease, blindness and peripheral neurodegenerative conditions that are the leading cause of non traumatic amputation.
The funding (£10,000) will provide three months salary and allow Dr Eccleston, as principal investigator, to develop proof of principle for the production of glucose responsive nanoparticles which may eventually lead to the development of an oral, responsive insulin delivery dosage form. If the concept can be developed to this stage then a full project grant can be submitted.
Diabetes UK's Research Fund supports projects that contribute towards an understanding of the causes, prevention or treatment of diabetes and its complications, or the welfare of people with diabetes.