Italy cures Diabetes with new Engineered Mini-organs

13/06/2016 - 3 minutes

Ospedale Niguarda Ca’ Granda has succeeded in treating a patient with type 1 diabetes, using a new tissue engineering techniques for more effective islet transplants – something that could bring this diabetes cure to more patients.  

ospedale_niguarda_islet_transplant_diabetesBiotech is tackling diabetes from several fronts – from mitigation of symptoms, for example, Avita’s skin spray, to medtech inventions such as needle-free glucose sensors or bionic pancreas and innovative drugs like super-insulin or inhaled insulin.

For type 1 diabetes, a severe inflammatory disease where insulin-producing cells are destroyed, a possible line of therapy is transplanting islets – a smaller unit of the pancreas which is responsible for insulin production.

Islet transplants have been around for a while. In 2000, patients in a trial were able to stop their daily insulin injections after successful transplants (you can read a review of the Islet medtech field here) – a big deal!

However, there are still many challenges: limited supply of organ donors,

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