Encapsulated Islets—Different Techniques Being Studied

Jan 1, 1996

The goal of all islet encapsulation research is to prevent the need for immunosuppressive drugs. These drugs prevent the immune system from attacking the new islet cells but cause serious complications of their own. Encapsulation technology involves enclosing insulin-producing islet cells in a semi-permeable membrane that allows small molecules, like glucose, insulin, and nutrients to pass but prevents larger immune-system molecules from entering.

There are three types of encapsulation being studied-microcapsules, diffusion chambers, and perfusion devices. A report written by the Department of Surgery at Deaconess Hospital in Boston and published in Clinical Pharmacokinetics, June 1995, detailed the efficacy of each method.

"Microcapsules injected into the abdominal cavity in a large quantity achieved glycaemic control, but required a small amount of immunosuppression to prevent fibrosis around the capsules."

Diffusion chambers placed in the abdomen of diabetic dogs resulted in "excellent glycaemic control without immunosuppression...However, their use was limited by the eventual breakage of tubular chambers."

The researchers at Deaconess Hospital report using a vascularized artificial pancreas for treatment of diabetes in dogs.

"Long term control of severe diabetes mellitus was achieved in totally pancreatectomised dogs without immunosuppression by devices seeded with [dog and pig] islets. [If developed successfully], the vascularised artificial pancreas could be an excellent alternative to DCCT-type intensive insulin therapy or pancreatic transplantation."

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Insulin, Islet & Pancreas Transplant

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.