Acta Pharm. 67 (2017) 149-168


full paper

Original research paper


Biomimetic insulin-imprinted polymer nanoparticles as a potential oral drug delivery system


1 Molecular Recognition Materials Research Unit, Nanotec-PSU Center of Excellence on Drug Delivery System, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Hatyai, Songkhla 90112, Thailand

2 National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC), National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand Science Park, Phahonyothin Road, Pathum Thani 12120, Thailand

Accepted March 2, 2017

Published online April 6, 2017


In this study, we investigate molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs), which form a three-dimensional image of the region at and around the active binding sites of pharmaceutically active insulin or are analogous to b cells bound to insulin. This approach was employed to create a well-defined structure within the nanospace cavities that make up functional monomers by cross-linking. The obtained MIPs exhibited a high adsorption capacity for the target insulin, which showed a significantly higher release of insulin in solution at pH 7.4 than at pH 1.2. In vivo studies on diabetic Wistar rats showed that the fast onset within 2 h is similar to subcutaneous injection with a maximum at 4 h, giving an engaged function responsible for the duration of glucose reduction for up to 24 h. These MIPs, prepared as nanosized material, may open a new horizon for oral insulin delivery.


Keywords: molecularly imprinted polymers, insulin, nanoparticles, islet cells, oral drug delivery