Nano Research

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 1393–1402 | Cite as

Ultrasound-triggered noninvasive regulation of blood glucose levels using microgels integrated with insulin nanocapsules

  • Jin Di
  • Jicheng Yu
  • Qun Wang
  • Shanshan Yao
  • Dingjie Suo
  • Yanqi Ye
  • Matthew Pless
  • Yong Zhu
  • Yun JingEmail author
  • Zhen GuEmail author
Research Article


Diabetes is a serious public health problem affecting 422 million people worldwide. Traditional diabetes management often requires multiple daily insulin injections, associated with pain and inadequate glycemia control. Herein, we have developed an ultrasound-triggered insulin delivery system capable of pulsatile insulin release that can provide both long-term sustained and fast on-demand responses. In this system, insulin-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanocapsules are encapsulated within chitosan microgels. The encapsulated insulin in nanocapsules can passively diffuse from the nanoparticle but remain restricted within the microgel. Upon ultrasound treatment, the stored insulin in microgels can be rapidly released to regulate blood glucose levels. In a chemically-induced type 1 diabetic mouse model, we demonstrated that this system, when activated by 30 s ultrasound administration, could effectively achieve glycemic control for up to one week in a noninvasive, localized, and pulsatile manner.


controlled drug delivery focused ultrasound diabetes nanocapsule microgel 


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This work was supported by the Junior Faculty Award of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the NC State Faculty Research and Professional Development Award to Z. G. The authors thank Dr. John Buse at UNC-CH for helpful discussion and Dr. Elizabeth Loboa, Dr. Michael Gamcsik and Dr. Glenn Walker for assistance in equipment usage.

Supplementary material

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Ultrasound-triggered noninvasive regulation of blood glucose levels using microgels integrated with insulin nanocapsules


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin Di
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jicheng Yu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qun Wang
    • 3
  • Shanshan Yao
    • 4
  • Dingjie Suo
    • 4
  • Yanqi Ye
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matthew Pless
    • 4
  • Yong Zhu
    • 4
  • Yun Jing
    • 4
    Email author
  • Zhen Gu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Joint Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery and Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics, UNC Eshelman School of PharmacyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Biological EngineeringIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  5. 5.Department of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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