Joint Centers of Excellence Program
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Sugar Responsive Insulin Release from Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles (Domain 3, Project 4)

Diabetes, a glucose related human disorder, is one of the most important health issues which affects almost 250 million people worldwide, and this number is expected to increase to more than 450 million by 2030. Current treatment of diabetes relies on self injection of insulin several times a day and regular checking of blood glucose concentration. This globally applied treatment is painful, inaccurate and results in hypoglycemia when the injected insulin dosage is too high. In the light of those and other problems, the development of sugar-responsive bioinspired nanomaterials is of vital importance, in particular, in self-regulated insulin release systems that can respond to fluctuations in blood glucose concentration. In this project, we are proposing to fabricate a novel class of sugar-responsive mesoporous silica nanoparticles for insulin delivery based on the complexation of boronic acid containing polymers and catechol containing polymers assembled onto nanoparticles by layer-by-layer assembly. The main goal of this project is the development of a smart, biocompatible, self-regulating insulin delivery nanomachines which would be able to respond quickly to changes in blood glucose concentration and release insulin on-demand in real time.