This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Light-activated diabetes drug made possible by UK team

Written by: | Published:

A new light-activated drug for type 2 diabetes has been created by scientists at Imperial College London and LMU Munich.

Researchers modified sulfonylurea to change shape and release insulin when exposed to blue light. The change reverses when the light is taken away, causing the drug to 'switch off'. The drug has been designed to manage potential side effects of diabetes medication, particularly the release of too much insulin, which can lower blood sugar to inadequate levels.

'In principle, this type of therapy may allow better control over blood sugar levels because it can be switched on for a short time when required after a meal,' said Dr David Hodson, one of the project leaders said.

It is likely to be a long time before the treatment is available for patients, but Dr Hodson said that that remained the ultimate goal of the project.

Dr Richard Elliott, from Diabetes UK, said: 'Sulfonylureas help many people to manage type 2 diabetes even though, like other medications, they can have side effects. Work on light-activated medications is still at a relatively early stage, but this is nevertheless a fascinating area of study that, with further research, could help to produce a safer, more tightly-controllable version of this important therapy.'

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.