Menu

Bioengineered ‘Pancreas’ Effective in First Patient

The diabetic volunteer continued to produce insulin one year after she received a transplant of abdominal islet cells.

May 12, 2017
Aggie Mika

Fluorescent islets transplanted in the abdomen, red indicating insulin and blue indicating cells’ nuclei

DIABETES RESEARCH INSTITUTE/UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI MILLER SCHOOL OF MEDICINE

 Type I diabetes had rendered a 43-year-old woman dependent on insulin, until doctors restored her body’s ability to produce the hormone with engineered islet cells transplanted into her abdomen, according to a New England Journal of Medicine report published today (May 11). The patient remained insulin-independent one year after her transplant, and as reported by a news release, is part of a continuous clinical trial testing the efficacy of this treatment for diabetes.

In type I diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells—a subtype of islet cells. To restore insulin production and simultaneously curtail an immune response, researchers blended a donor’s islet cells with the patients’ plasma and, together with added enzymes that enable blood clotting, made a “gel-like material that [stuck] to the omentum” within her abdomen, according to the news release.

“The objective of testing this novel tissue-engineered platform is to initially determine that insulin-producing cells can function in this new site, and subsequently introduce additional technologies towards our ultimate goal to replace the pancreatic endocrine function lost in type 1 diabetes without the need for anti-rejection drugs,” Camillo Ricordi, a coauthor, physician, and professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said in the news release.

In the study, the patient demonstrated increased glucose and decreased insulin beginning at six months post-transplant, but her bloodwork indicated that she had not yet returned to a diabetic condition.

“We’re exploring a way to optimize islet cell therapy to a larger population. This study gives us hope for a different transplant approach,” David Baidal, the lead author and a professor at the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute, told reporters. 

June 2019

Living with Bacteria

Can pathogens be converted to commensals?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Gyros Protein Technologies introduces Gyrolab E. coli HCP Kit for automated impurity analysis of biotherapeutics
Gyros Protein Technologies introduces Gyrolab E. coli HCP Kit for automated impurity analysis of biotherapeutics
Ready-to-use immunoassay kit increases analytical output and productivity in bioprocess workflows. Kit developed as part of licensing and supply agreement with Cygnus Technologies
IDT launches ultra-high performance CRISPR Cas12a enzyme
IDT launches ultra-high performance CRISPR Cas12a enzyme
IDT’s new CRISPR Cas12a (Cpf1) Ultra enzyme can target new sites within the genome and with greater efficiency
Implen Launches New NanoPhotometer N120: The High Throughput Champion!
Implen Launches New NanoPhotometer N120: The High Throughput Champion!
Implen GmbH is excited to announce the release of the NanoPhotometer® N120, an absorbance based UV/VIS Multi Channel Spectrophotometer.
StemExpress Announces Release of New Frozen Leukopak® to Advance Research
StemExpress Announces Release of New Frozen Leukopak® to Advance Research
To continue to provide new products and services to further advance medical research around the world, today, StemExpress announced the release of their Frozen Leukopak®.