Insulin delivery using dynamic covalent boronic acid/ester‐controlled release

Łukasz Banach, George T. Williams, John S. Fossey

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The number of people affected by diabetes mellitus increases globally year on year. Elevated blood glucose levels may result from a lack of insulin to manage these levels and can, over a prolonged period, lead to serious repercussions. Diabetes mellitus patients must monitor and control their blood-glucose levels with invasive testing and often alongside administration of intravenous doses of insulin, which can often lead to suboptimal compliance. To mitigate these issues, “closed-loop” insulin delivery systems are deemed to be among superior options for rapid relief from the demanding and troublesome necessity of self-directed care. The reversible dynamic covalent chemistry of boronic acid derivatives and their competitive affinity to 1,2- and 1,3-diols (such as those present in saccharides) allows for the design and preparation of responsive self-regulated insulin delivery materials which respond to elevated and changing glucose levels. A range of meritorious and noteworthy contributions in the domain of boron-mediated insulin delivery materials is surveyed, and providing a multidisciplinary context in the realisation of the ambitious goal of ultimately addressing the desire to furnish glucose-responsive insulin delivery materials through innovative synthesis and rigorous testing is targetted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2100118
JournalAdvanced Therapeutics
Issue number11
Early online date15 Aug 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All the authors thank the University of Birmingham for support. Ł.B. also thanks Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Cancer Research UK (CRUK Pioneer Award 26212), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF 2‐SRA‐2016‐267‐A‐N), and Medical Research Council (MRC Confidence in Concepts 7.1‐07F) grants supported research of the authors of this review which informed the scope and direction of the details contained within this manuscript. Members of the research group are thanked for helpful comments during the preparation of this manuscript.


  • boronic acid
  • controlled release
  • diabetes mellitus
  • glucose
  • insulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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