Researchers have invented a “smart insulin patch” that detects increases in blood sugar levels and quickly secretes doses of insulin into the bloodstream whenever needed. If proven effective in humans, the smart insulin patch has the potential to replace bothersome insulin injections, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina. The smart insulin patch has more than 100 microneedles that detect increases in blood sugar and then secrete doses of insulin when needed. The new, painless patch is smaller than a postage stamp and is covered with an array of more than 100 microneedles, each of which are loaded with insulin and glucose-sensing enzymes that rapidly release the insulin when blood sugar levels get too high. Investigators found that the patch was able to lower blood glucose in mice with type 1 diabetes for up to 9 hours. The patch works fast, is easy to use and is made with nontoxic materials. Because this has only been tested in mice, it might be awhile before we see this being tested on humans, but it could come soon once the preliminary studies are done for safety in humans. In addition, the researchers found that they could “tune” the patch to alter blood glucose levels within a certain range by varying the dose of enzyme contained within each of the microneedles. They also found that the patch did not pose the hazards that poorly-timed insulin injections can have. This study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.