Gel-based Drug Delivery May Avoid Injections

Indians Develop Gel-Based Drug Delivery

Indian scientists have created an ingestible gel that can deliver drugs to manage diseases usually requiring an injection.

The research of the scientists at the Polymer Research Laboratory at Government Model Science College in Jabalpur, published in the latest edition of the journal Polymer International, suggests the gel could offer a painless way of treating diabetes, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, bowel cancer, constipation and some infections.

The researchers said oral administration of medication cannot be achieved easily because highly acidic gastric fluid in the stomach contain enzymes that can break down the active drug before it reaches the target site.

But the hydrogel system has been designed so that when swallowed by the patient, it passes through the stomach, retaining the majority of the drug by protecting it from the stomach acids.

Fully 56 percent of the drug is released where it is needed -- further down the gastrointestinal tract in the colon. It is deposited when the gel swells in response to the colon's alkaline pH.

JABALPUR, India (UPI) September 2004

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