Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic illness estimated to have affected 451 million individuals to date, with this number expected to significantly rise in the coming years. There are two main classes of this disease, namely type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Insulin therapy is pivotal in the management of diabetes, with diabetic individuals taking multiple daily insulin injections. However, the mode of administration has numerous drawbacks, resulting in poor patient compliance. In order to optimize insulin therapy, novel drug delivery systems (DDSes) have been suggested, and alternative routes of administration have been investigated. A novel aspect in the field of drug delivery was brought about by the coalescence of polymeric science and nanotechnology. In addition to polymeric nanoparticles (PNPs), insulin DDSes can incorporate the use of nanoplatforms/carriers. A combination of these systems can bring about novel formulations and lead to significant improvements in the drug delivery system (DDS) with regard to therapeutic efficacy, bioavailability, increased half-life, improved transport through physical and chemical barriers, and controlled drug delivery. This review will discuss how recent developments in polymer chemistry and nanotechnology have been employed in a multitude of platforms as well as in administration routes for the safe and efficient delivery of insulin for the treatment of DM.
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