The company is working on the development of a “microneedle insulin patch,” an artificial pancreas made of acrylamide gel containing phenylboronic acid (phenylboronic acid gel), as a new option for diabetes treatment. The microneedle insulin patch is a patch made by forming phenylboronic acid gel into a microneedle shape and filling it with insulin. The microneedles are about 1 mm in length and avoid the pain point, making the patch less painful. With the microneedle insulin patch, insulin filled inside the patch can be administered gradually into the body. Phenylboronate gel shrinks in an environment with low glucose concentration, forming a dehydrated layer (skin layer) up to 100 μm thick on the surface. On the other hand, in environments with high glucose concentration, the gel expands. These morphological changes are reversible. Thus, when insulin is loaded into a microneedle insulin patch made of phenylboronate gel, the skin layer keeps the insulin in the gel when glucose concentration is low. On the other hand, as the glucose concentration increases, the gel expands and insulin is released through the gaps in the expanded gel. Thus, the microneedle insulin patch is thought to be able to autonomously control the amount of insulin released through glucose concentration-dependent changes in phenylboronic acid.
B-MED develops “paste-only artificial pancreas” with microneedles releasing insulin