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Tissue-engineered human pancreatic cells successfully treat diabetic mice

Date: 11.5.2018 

Researchers tissue-engineered human pancreatic islets in a laboratory that develop a circulatory system, secrete hormones like insulin and successfully treat sudden-onset type 1 diabetes in transplanted mice. 
Kredit: Cincinnati Children's.

In a study published by Cell Reports, the scientists use a new bioengineering process they developed called a self-condensation cell culture. The technology helps nudge medical science closer to one day growing human organ tissues from a person's own cells for regenerative therapy, say study investigators at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in the U.S. and Yokohama City University (YCU) in Japan.

"This method may serve as a principal curative strategy for treating type 1 diabetes, of which there are 79,000 new diagnoses per year," said Takanori Takebe, MD, a physician-scientist at the Cincinnati Children's Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Medicine. "This is a life-threatening disease that never goes away, so developing effective and possibly permanent therapeutic approaches would help millions of children and adults around the world."

Scientists tested their processing system with donated human organ cells (pancreas, heart, brain, etc.), with mouse organ cells and with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS).

The tissue-engineering process also uses two types of embryonic-stage progenitor cells, which support formation of the body and its specific organs. The progenitor cells are mesenchymal stem cells (MSNs) and human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs).

Using either donated organ cells, mouse cells or iPS cells, the researchers combined these with MSNs, HUVECs along with other genetic and biochemical material that cue the formation of pancreatic islets. In conditions that nourish and nurture the cells, the ingredients condensed and self-organized into pancreatic islets. After the tissue-engineered islets were transplanted into humanized mouse models of severe type 1 diabetes, they resolved the animals' disease, report researchers.

 


 

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