Optimising islet transplantation with vascularized tissue engineering chambers

Grant number: 400238


Diabetics have high blood sugar levels because cells in the pancreas known as islets produce too little of the hormone insulin. Most diabetics need daily insulin injections to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Transplanting islets is the most promising way to treat type 1 diabetes, but, apart from the obvious difficulty of rejection of foreign islets, several major problems remain: (1) there are insufficient pancreata (and therefore islets) for transplantation; and (2) the efficiency of delivery of surviving islet transplants is too low. In pilot studies we have grown a new living pancreatic organ in mice by inserting islets from genetically-related mice together with a structural protein ..

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