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Diabetes Technol Ther. 2011 May;13(5):509-17. doi: 10.1089/dia.2010.0114. Epub 2011 Mar 15.

Novel hormonal delivery method using the ink-jet technology: application to pulmonary insulin therapies.

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Department of General Internal Medicine, Jikei University School of Medicine, Aoto Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.



A device developed based on ink-jet printer technology can precisely control the size and volume of droplets ejected. Here, we evaluated the application of this technology to the pulmonary administration of insulin mist as a therapeutic measure for diabetes.


Insulin ejected from the ink-jet device was initially characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry. Its effects on D-glucose uptake rate by L6 cells were then investigated. Next, different insulin solutions (with or without additives or ink-jet processing) were subcutaneously administered, and their pharmacodynamic features were evaluated. Finally, decreases in plasma glucose level in rats were examined after ventilator-assisted pulmonary administration of insulin mist.


Neither the HPLC nor the mass spectrometry profile of insulin was altered by the ink-jet process. The D-glucose uptake rate by L6 cells that received the recovered aerosolized insulin solution was similar to that of cells treated with control insulin, at 107%. Neither the addition of additives nor the ink-jet process used for insulin aerosolization impaired the plasma glucose-lowering action of subcutaneously injected insulin. Similarly, the efficacy of pulmonary insulin administration was not affected by the additives or the ink-jet process. Plasma glucose levels showed a trend towards decreasing after ventilator-assisted pulmonary administration of insulin mist. Plasma insulin level increased 30 min after the inhalation.


The ink-jet process did not affect the quality or biological activity of insulin, suggesting the potential use of the ink-jet device for insulin inhalation therapy for diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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