Surgeons Create Functional Artificial Pancreatic Tissue

This press release is an announcement submitted by American College of Surgeons (ACS), and was not written by Diabetes Health.

Surgeons from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, are reporting on a whole new strategy for controlling insulin dependent diabetes without daily injections of insulin. The surgeons have bio-engineered a novel matrix that serves as a scaffold for seeding supportive stem cells as well as pancreatic islets....

Oct 30, 2010

In a proof-of-concept study presented at the 2010 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, the researchers note that the matrix not only helps to understand the micro-architecture of the pancreas, but also prolongs the survival and preserves the function of the islets. Islets survived longer in the bio-artificial matrix than in conventional transplantation sites, and they produced significantly more insulin when challenged with glucose.

According to Claudius Conrad, MD, PhD, primary investigator and chief resident in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, "Islet cell transplantation is the only treatment of insulin dependent diabetes that can consistently establish insulin independence. However, islets only feel at home in the pancreatic niche, and therefore their survival and ability to produce insulin declines rapidly if transplanted, for example, in the liver... The pancreas provides a very special environment for islets... By default, the survival and function of the islet cells will always be worse in any organ other than the pancreas. To engineer an endocrine pancreas, islet and stem cells require an extracellular matrix (ECM) that provides specific architecture, microstructure, and most importantly microvasculature to form the islet cell specific niche."

Dr. Conrad and his colleagues explained that they are attempting to form a cellular structure that mimics the natural resting place on which the islets thrive. "We are trying to improve the survival and the functionality of the islets by creating their pancreas specific niche." 

The matrix was formed by removing cells from pancreatic tissue with biological detergents so only the proteins that hold the cells together were left. The resulting matrix was seeded with donor islet cells and supportive stem cells, and the entire construct was successfully transplanted and maintained in a recipient animal model using microsurgical techniques.

Dr. Conrad believes that, although the research is still at an early stage, a clinical trial of in patients with insulin dependent diabetes is likely in the near future. "The difficult aspects of the concept, such as decellularizing the pancreas by means of detergents, subsequent cellular seeding, and transplantation, have been worked out. I am very excited about the prospect of bioengineering an endocrine pancreas that could cure patients with insulin dependent diabetes. I think we are very close to the clinical application of this entirely novel concept," he said.

 * * *

Source: American College of Surgeons (ACS) press release

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Artificial Pancreas, Diabetes, Diabetes, Endocrinology, Insulin, Medications Research, Research, Type 1 Issues

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.