In order to stop the injection, the scientists put the syringe into the capsule.
In order to stop the injection, the scientists put the syringe into the capsule.
How about swallowing the syringe and giving your stomach a shot?

(this article was first posted on the fruit shell net)

out of curiosity, I once gave myself a shot with an insulin injection pen (no real medicine, of course). It's not that difficult to pick up the skin and stick it into the needle, and the pain is completely within an acceptable range. But the thought of this kind of treatment going on over the years and several times a day is still irresistible. By contrast, it's much more convenient to swallow a pill. I wish I could put insulin in the pill.

it is not feasible for insulin to be turned into a pill directly. The digestive system will destroy all these proteins. But scientists are trying a new idea: swallow a small syringe and let it give someone a shot in the stomach.

(photo source: Felice Frankel)

these little things in the capsule are the mini syringes they designed. According to the researchers, if you swallow the small syringe, it will automatically find a position in the patient's stomach and stick the drug into the gastric mucous membrane. In this way, macromolecular drugs that are not absorbed can enter the human body directly.

doesn't it still take a shot? Yes, but it eliminates the hassle of injection operation and is more painless. The digestive tract is not as sensitive as the skin, and the researchers say the intragastric injection device is "unlikely to cause any discomfort".

how do I get an injection in my stomach?

the shell of the injection device is designed with reference to the leopard print tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis). It consists of a pointed plastic vault and a circular metal base. Because of the low center of gravity and the advantage of shape, no matter how it falls, it can quickly automatically adjust to an upright posture so that the opening is aimed at the stomach wall (however, this only works on an empty stomach).

(motion picture from:

after the posture adjustment is completed, the spring in the hidden device will be released and a mini "needle" containing medicine will be inserted into the stomach tissue. This is not an ordinary injection needle, it is directly pressed with insulin and biodegradable excipients. When inserted into the stomach wall, the small "needle" dissolves itself and releases insulin into the tissue.

(a schematic diagram. The original video is from: Giovanni Traverso)

then how does the spring release itself? Something everyone is familiar with is used here: sugar. The researchers glued the spring with a little caramelized sucrose (imagine the outer layer of Tomatoes on sticks), and after entering the stomach, the gastric juice dissolved the sugar, allowing the spring to automatically eject and fire the "insulin spear" connected to it.

at present, this "edible syringe" is still in the early stage of research and development. In preliminary animal experiments, this seems to be a feasible option: insulin injected into the gastric mucosa successfully reduced blood sugar levels in experimental pigs, with an effect similar to that of traditional subcutaneous injection, and did not cause any stomach tissue damage in the short term. However, there is still a lot of research work to be done before it is actually put into application.

whether this thing can really benefit diabetics is not known yet, but the way of thinking is really magical.


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