Need Insulin? Just Swallow a Pill!

Researchers at MIT are working on a new insulin delivery method that consists of swallowing a tiny injection device.

Insulin Pill / Image: MIT
Insulin Pill / Image: MIT

Very few people enjoy needles, and even fewer like the feeling of having their skin penetrated by one. So it’s no surprise a lot of time and money are allocated to developing alternative ways for diabetics to inject insulin into their bodies. According to a recent Time article discussed the latest method that consists of swallowing the needle. No, really.

A team of researchers at MIT has developed a tiny swallowable device that injects insulin directly into the stomach wall. It’s called a “self-orienting millimeter scale applicator (SOMA), and it’s roughly the size of a capsule. The device is comprised of stainless steel and other biodegradable materials and is essentially a spring-loaded needle containing insulin. It self-orients thanks to a weight that ensures it always stays right side up. The injection is triggered by stomach in the water, causing the device to inject insulin into the inner stomach wall.

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