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IIT Bhilai led reasearch team develops controlled Insulin-Delivery System

IIT Bhilai researchers led multi institutional team have successfully engineering a novel Insulin-delivery platform.

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The team of researchers were from IIT Bhilai, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, Delhi, NCR, and Shri Rawatpura Sarkar Institute of Pharmacy of Chhattisgarh.

IIT BhilaiThis hydrogel-based drug delivery system has the ability to release Insulin in a controlled manner in response to elevated blood glucose levels- mimicking the natural insulin secretion process of healthy pancreatic cells.

The study led by Dr Suchetan Pal, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, IIT Bhilai, promises a safe and efficient method of supplying Insulin to insulin-dependent diabetic patients.

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Injection methods

Highlighting the limitations of current Insulin injection methods, Dr Suchetan Pal, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, IIT Bhilai said, “Current insulin injection methods have some limitations.

They do not work quite like the body’s natural system and can be fatal. The current Insulin injection methods can also make blood sugar levels drop dangerously low, and patients might have to rely on them forever, says Dr Suchetan from IIT Bhilai.

Improved methods

Seeking improved methods of insulin delivery, the researchers at IIT Bhilai explored the innovative application of hydrogels. Hydrogels are biocompatible polymers that are characterized by high water content and are being studied for controlled drug release in various medical fields including cardiology, oncology, immunology, wound healing, and pain management.

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The researchers encapsulated insulin in specially designed hydrogels that can be administered instead of direct insulin injections, say sources from IIT Bhilai.

IIT BhilaiInspiration

Drawing inspiration from the body’s natural insulin secretion process triggered by glucose, the team designed the hydrogels such that they would release insulin when glucose levels are elevated, say sources from IIT Bhilai.

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This was achieved by crosslinking polyvinyl alcohol with tiny particles of chitosan, an ingredient derived from shellfish and crabs’ outer skeletons, say sources from IIT Bhilai.

The crosslinker, formylphenylboronic acid (FPBA), responds to glucose levels and releases the insulin that is encapsulated inside the hydrogel.

Through comprehensive experiments involving small-molecule drug analogs and macromolecular insulin, the team demonstrated that the hydrogels released insulin predominantly under hyperglycemic (high glucose) conditions, say sources from IIT Bhilai.

The safety and antidiabetic efficacy of insulin-loaded hydrogels were confirmed through tests in a type I rat model.


Emphasizing the versatility of these hydrogels, Dr. Pal added, “These modular hydrogels can take the form of microneedles or oral formulations and can prove sustained delivery of insulin in response to elevated blood glucose levels.

This could significantly enhance convenience and safety for patients requiring insulin therapy, said Dr Pal of IIT Bhilai.


In a paper co-authored by Mr. Akbar Ali, Ms. Saroj, Ms. Sunita Saha, Mr. Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Dr Tatini Rakshit, and Dr Suchetan Pal, the findings of this ground-breaking research have been published in the American Chemical Society journal, Applied Materials and Interfaces.

IIT BhilaiSignificance

This study and its discoveries hold significance for India, a country often referred to as the global hub of diabetes. Recent studies by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), featured in The Lancet, reveal alarming numbers: around 101 million Indians are currently grappling with diabetes.

This chronic health ailment, stemming from inadequate insulin generation in the pancreas, results in high blood sugar levels and presents considerable health risks, say sources from IIT Bhilai.

Insulin remains a cornerstone therapy for many patients with type 1 diabetes. Presently, individuals with diabetes often resort to daily insulin injections using needles or specialized devices to manage their blood sugar levels.

It is estimated that around three million people in India rely on insulin therapy, say sources from IIT Bhilai.

About IIT Bhilai

Indian Institute of Technology Bhilai was established in the State of Chhattisgarh by Ministry of Human Resource and Development in the year 2016.

IIT Bhilai offers Bachelor of Technology (BTech), Master of Technology (MTech), Master of Science (MSc) and Doctoral programs (PhD) in various departments.

IIT Bhilai has established a 3-D Printing Lab that constitutes an integral part of 3-D Modeling and Design course, a fabrication lab, an electrical lab, a computer lab and a library in a short duration.

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