04 June 2021

"Sieve" with beta cells

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Cornell University have jointly created an implant containing beta cells grown from human stem cells and injected it into mice with diabetes. After implantation, the cells secreted insulin depending on the blood sugar level, allowing to control the course of diabetes mellitus and avoiding the immune reaction of the body.

In previous studies, the group had grown beta cells capable of secreting insulin from induced pluripotent stem cells, but it was unclear how to safely implant them. The second task was to avoid the attack of the body's own immune system and to provide nutrition to beta cells so that they could function as long as possible.

The new device was developed by the method of nanofiber-integrated cell encapsulation (NICE). They filled a microporous implant with insulin-secreting beta cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. The pores are large enough to release insulin and receive oxygen and nutrients from the blood, and too small for immune cells to penetrate them. Due to this structure of the implant, the cells secreting insulin cannot be destroyed by immune cells and are able to remain active for a long time.


Beta cells (pink) inside the porous implant.

The device was implanted into the abdominal cavity of mice with diabetes mellitus. The combination of structural, mechanical and chemical properties that were achieved did not allow the mice's own cells to completely isolate the implant and make it ineffective. Beta cells continued to secrete insulin and maintain normal blood sugar levels in mice for 200 days, despite the fact that the animals did not receive treatment suppressing the immune system. After the implants were removed, the insulin-secreting cells inside them were still functioning.

Thus, the new device in the future can become a reliable and safe method of treating patients with diabetes mellitus.

Article X.Wang et al. A nanofibrous encapsulation device for safe delivery of insulin-producing cells to treat type 1 diabetes is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Aminat Adzhieva, portal "Eternal Youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on the materials of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis: Tiny implant cures diabetes in mice without triggering immune response.

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version