Insulin Granule-Loaded MicroPlates for Modulating Blood Glucose Levels in Type-1 Diabetes

Rosita Primavera, Elena Bellotti, Daniele Di Mascolo, Martina Di Francesco, Jing Wang, Bhavesh D. Kevadiya, Angelo De Pascale, Avnesh S. Thakor, Paolo Decuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Type-1 diabetes (T1DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder resulting from the autoimmune destruction of β cells. The current standard of care requires multiple, daily injections of insulin and accurate monitoring of blood glucose levels (BGLs); in some cases, this results in diminished patient compliance and increased risk of hypoglycemia. Herein, we engineered hierarchically structured particles comprising a poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) prismatic matrix, with a 20 × 20 μm base, encapsulating 200 nm insulin granules. Five configurations of these insulin-microPlates (INS-μPLs) were realized with different heights (5, 10, and 20 μm) and PLGA contents (10, 40, and, 60 mg). After detailed physicochemical and biopharmacological characterizations, the tissue-compliant 10H INS-μPL, realized with 10 mg of PLGA, presented the most effective release profile with ∼50% of the loaded insulin delivered at 4 weeks. In diabetic mice, a single 10H INS-μPL intraperitoneal deposition reduced BGLs to that of healthy mice within 1 h post-implantation (167.4 ± 49.0 vs 140.0 ± 9.2 mg/dL, respectively) and supported normoglycemic conditions for about 2 weeks. Furthermore, following the glucose challenge, diabetic mice implanted with 10H INS-μPL successfully regained glycemic control with a significant reduction in AUC0-120min (799.9 ± 134.83 vs 2234.60 ± 82.72 mg/dL) and increased insulin levels at 7 days post-implantation (1.14 ± 0.11 vs 0.38 ± 0.02 ng/mL), as compared to untreated diabetic mice. Collectively, these results demonstrate that INS-μPLs are a promising platform for the treatment of T1DM to be further optimized with the integration of smart glucose sensors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53618-53629
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 17 2021


  • diabetes
  • drug delivery
  • insulin granules
  • microfabrication
  • microparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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