Joana Sacramento, researcher from Neuronal Control of Metabolic disturbances: Therapeutic Strategies Lab, received the Award Prémio Ciência Pulido Valente 2018 for the work published in the scientific journal Diabetologia entitled "Bioelectronic modulation of carotid sinus nerve activity in the rat: a potential therapeutic approach to type 2 diabetes".
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a bioelectronic application in the nerve that connects the carotid body to the brain, the carotid sinus nerve, in type 2 diabetic rats. The carotid body is an organ located bilaterally in the bifurcation of the common carotid artery and is responsible for the response to oxygen deprivation, which can happen, for example, when a person climbs a mountain. Previous work from this labo, led by Silvia Conde, described that in type 2 animal models the activity of the carotid body is increased. Therefore, to modulate its activity in order to find a new therapy for type 2 diabetes, electrodes were implanted in the carotid sinus nerve of type 2 diabetic animals. These experiments showed that it is possible to restore the insulin sensitivity, as well as to maintain the glycemic control, in these animals. Moreover, the study showed that the electrical modulation is reversible. Joana Sacramento emphasizes that "Since type 2 diabetes is characterized by the increase in the blood glucose levels and that, until the date, none therapeutic is effective in long-term glycemic control, this work shows the possibility of the development of a new therapy for type 2 diabetes, a disease that affects millions of people in the world".
This work was performed in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company Galvani Bioelectronics.
Every year, the Award Prémio Ciência Pulido Valente distinguishes the best-published article in the area of Biomedical Engineering.
The award Prémio Ciência Pulido Valente 2018 was awarded ex-aequo with Rúben Brás Pereira, from Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, University of Porto, Portugal, hence the Award of 10.000 Euros will be shared between both researchers.
The Awards Ceremony will occur on March 7 at Palácio das Laranjeiras
Joana Sacramento at Awards Ceremony