A NASAL spray has been developed that could mean an end to daily injections for sufferers of Type 1 diabetes.
The spray, successfully tested on rats, delivers insulin to the bloodstream via the nose. Tests showed that one squirt of the spray reduced blood sugar levels in rats for around 24 hours.
When insulin was injected into the animals the traditional way, it took just nine hours for their blood sugar levels to return to their original values.
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition that affects around 300,000 people in the UK and destroys insulin-making cells in the pancreas.
Without the hormone, levels of glucose in the blood can rise dangerously. Sufferers usually have to inject themselves with insulin several times a day to keep blood sugar under control.
The new nasal spray, developed by a British-led international team of scientists, turns into a sticky gel once it heats up to body temperature in the nose.
The research is published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Biomaterials Science.