23 February 2011

More on Islet Cell Transplantation

More science is being put into islet cell transplantation and effective ways of accomplishing this. This may be an answer for Type 1 diabetes although not the cure yet. Researchers in Italy are relooking at the roll of bone marrow stem cells in diabetic therapy and islet cell regeneration. Canadian researchers are offering improved strategies to optimize pancreatic islet culture in vitro.

Italy's science is still a ways from completion, but may in the future offer some possibilities. They have started a clinical trial aimed at expanding on the idea that bone marrow may hold some possibilities as the ideal micro-environment for islet survival.

Canadian researchers have a need to find a method of ensuring the integrity of islet cells that have been harvested from nonliving donors. This is a successful practice in Canada, but there has been problems with cell integrity. Researchers report that nearly half of the islet mass is lost during donor surgery, preservation, transport, and isolation. This means that patients undergo a second islet infusion.

The researchers are looking for means of improving post-isolation culture for up to two months duration. This requires a better understanding of islet biology. The researchers recommend combining many strategies supporting understanding of the need to maintain islet structural integrity and to provide a viable environment for islet preservation.

Some of these strategies include manipulation of the culture media, surface modified substrates, and the use of various techniques, such as encapsulation, embedding, scaffold and bio-reactor approaches. The survival of islets after isolation remains a significant limiting factor in the field of islet transplantation.

Read the article here. The Italian study is here and the Canadian study is here. These are at present the full text of the studies and you may access the full text in the format you desire from the links.

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