Diabetes mellitus is an endocrine disease in which the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin or the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin therapy has been the best choice for the clinical management of diabetes mellitus. The current insulin therapy is via subcutaneous injection, which often fails to mimic the glucose homeostasis that occurs in normal individuals. This provokes numerous attempts to develop a safe and effective noninvasive route for insulin delivery. Oral delivery is the most convenient administration route. However, insulin cannot be well absorbed orally because of its rapid enzymatic degradation in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, nanoparticulate carriers such as polymeric nanoparticles and micelles are employed for the oral delivery of insulin. These nanocarriers protect insulin from degradation and facilitate insulin uptake via a transcellular and/or paracellular pathway. This review article focuses on the application of nanoparticles and micelles in insulin oral delivery. The recent advances in this topic are also reviewed. © 2015, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

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