New engineering method could overcome barriers in diabetes cell therapy

Pancreatic cell transplants have the potential to be a permanent treatment for Type 1 diabetes. Problem is, the cells have trouble forming the blood vessel networks they need to thrive and provide insulin to patients. So scientists in the U.S. and Japan devised a new tissue engineering method to tackle this blood-supply problem in pancreatic cell transplantation. Using the method, they created pancreatic islets that cured severe Type 1 diabetes when they were transplanted into mice.


Human pancreatic islets tend to lose their blood vessels while being prepped for transplant, and attempts to combat this—including creating new islets from stem cells—have been largely unsuccessful, the researchers, from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Yokohama City University (YCU), wrote in their study. So to speed up vascularization in transplanted tissues, the researchers, led by Takanori Takebe of Cincinnati Children’s and Hideki Taniguchi of YCU, created a technique called self-condensation cell culture … read more