Background: Repeated administrations of insulin injection on daily basis evoke pain and numerous complications with adverse effects on the diabetic patients’ life quality. Moreover, wearing insulin pump is also associated with several problems of diabetic ketoacidosis, catheter site infection, contact dermatitis and high cost.
Method: We have developed an in situ gel system, consisting of insulin-loaded liposomes dispersed within a thermoreversible gel (Pluronic® F127 gel), which increases the duration of insulin action for the treatment of diabetes. Vesicular phospholipid gel technique was used to encapsulate the insulin into liposomes.
Results: The resulting liposomal gel formulation had a longer drug-release period in vitro than a free insulin solution or liposomes and Pluronic® F127 gel individually. Furthermore, the addition of liposomes to the Pluronic® F127 gel improved the stability of the encapsulated insulin at a physiological temperature. In vivo study was performed to investigate the bioactivity and absorption of insulin released from the liposomal gel and other formulations. The liposomal gel released insulin into the bloodstream continuously for up to 7 days and significantly enhanced drug bioavailability compared to insulin released from liposomes or Pluronic® F127 gel individually. Blood glucose levels were reduced for up to 4 days. Histology data demonstrated excellent biocompatibility of the Pluronic® F127 gel-based delivery systems, with no observable inflammatory response in rat subcutaneous tissues.
Conclusion: Obtained results show that the insulin-loaded liposomes dispersed within Pluronic® F127 gel can be used as a long-acting drug delivery system, and replacement for conventional insulin therapy.