Biomaterial shows promise for Type 1 Diabetes treatment
Using a hydrogel containing insulin-producing cells, the researchers were able to inject and successfully graft the cells into mice. The diabetes was reversed in as little as 10 days.
The hydrogel protected the pancreatic islet (hormone producing) cells during injection and once they degraded safely, released growth factors to induce blood vessel growth which connected the new cells to the injection site and supplied nutrients to keep them alive.
However, we don’t know if it will work in people yet because they used genetically identical mice, ruling out any possibility of immune response to the material. The next step, researchers say, is to address the immune acceptance issues.