Gene therapy is widely considered to be the most likely path to curing diabetes. However, a problem often exists. Delivering genes safely to the bodily cells that need them most often poses a challenge . A new study conducted at the National Academy of Sciences has displayed that combining ultrasound with tiny bubbles to deliver genes into the insulin-producing cells of rats has proved successful. Adapting this route for human use could one day lead to a cure or advanced treatment for diabetic patients.
Several major diseases can be corrected through the introduction of new genes into the affected cells. These include cancer, cystic fibrosis and cardiovascular disease. The new approach is called ‘ultrasound targeted microbubble destruction.’ The study was carried out at the Baylor University Medical Centre in Dallas . The gas-filled bubbles were filled with DNA and injected into the bloodstream. An ultrasound beam then targeted them into the correct region of the body . At the right moment, the ultrasound waves burst the bubbles and release the genes, and break holes into the membranes of nearby cells. The genes then enter these cells.
Human insulin could be detected in the rat’s bloodstreams several days later, and as a consequence of the treatment their blood sugar level also fell. This treatment could very well be the future.

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