Rational Design of Glucose-Responsive Insulin Using Pharmacokinetic Modeling

Naveed A. Bakh, Gili Bisker, Michael A. Lee, Xun Gong, Michael S. Strano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A glucose responsive insulin (GRI) is a therapeutic that modulates its potency, concentration, or dosing of insulin in relation to a patient's dynamic glucose concentration, thereby approximating aspects of a normally functioning pancreas. Current GRI design lacks a theoretical basis on which to base fundamental design parameters such as glucose reactivity, dissociation constant or potency, and in vivo efficacy. In this work, an approach to mathematically model the relevant parameter space for effective GRIs is induced, and design rules for linking GRI performance to therapeutic benefit are developed. Well-developed pharmacokinetic models of human glucose and insulin metabolism coupled to a kinetic model representation of a freely circulating GRI are used to determine the desired kinetic parameters and dosing for optimal glycemic control. The model examines a subcutaneous dose of GRI with kinetic parameters in an optimal range that results in successful glycemic control within prescribed constraints over a 24 h period. Additionally, it is demonstrated that the modeling approach can find GRI parameters that enable stable glucose levels that persist through a skipped meal. The results provide a framework for exploring the parameter space of GRIs, potentially without extensive, iterative in vivo animal testing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1700601
JournalAdvanced healthcare materials
Issue number22
StatePublished - 22 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • diabetes
  • glucose sensing
  • insulin
  • pharmacokinetics
  • smart therapy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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