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PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e29585. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029585. Epub 2012 Jan 17.

Non inflammatory boronate based glucose-responsive insulin delivery systems.

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School of Biomedical Informatics, The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, United States of America.


Boronic acids, known to bind diols, were screened to identify non-inflammatory cross-linkers for the preparation of glucose sensitive and insulin releasing agglomerates of liposomes (Agglomerated Vesicle Technology-AVT). This was done in order to select a suitable replacement for the previously used cross-linker, ConcanavalinA (ConA), a lectin known to have both toxic and inflammatory effects in vivo. Lead-compounds were selected from screens that involved testing for inflammatory potential, cytotoxicity and glucose-binding. These were then conjugated to insulin-encapsulating nanoparticles and agglomerated via sugar-boronate ester linkages to form AVTs. In vitro, the particles demonstrated triggered release of insulin upon exposure to physiologically relevant concentrations of glucose (10 mmoles/L-40 mmoles/L). The agglomerates were also shown to be responsive to multiple spikes in glucose levels over several hours, releasing insulin at a rate defined by the concentration of the glucose trigger.

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