Subcutaneous Injection of Islet Cells May One Day Control Type I Diabetes Interview with
Sherry L. Voytik-Harbin Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Purdue UniversitySherry L. Voytik-Harbin

Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Purdue University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a major health problem affecting over 1.25 children and adults in the United States alone. It also affects our beloved companion animals, with 1 out of every 100 dogs and cats having this condition.

T1D results from an autoimmune condition, where the patient’s body, by mistake, attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas (β cells) that are responsible for regulating blood glucose levels by producing insulin. While injectable insulin represents the standard of care for these patients, it provides an inferior control system relative to functional β cells, leaving the majority of patients at risk for life-threatening complications. Although transplantation of pancreatic islets, which contain replacement β cells, via portal vein injection into the liver, is an attractive therapeutic alternative for these patients, persistent risks and challenges preclude its more widespread clinical adoption. These include rapid destruction and loss of function of the majority of donor cells upon transplantation and the need for life-long immunosuppression.

This study evaluated a novel packaging strategy for the delivery and maintenance of functional donor islets beneath the skin, resulting in rapid and extended reversal of T1D in diabetic mice. 

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Type 1 Diabetes: New Model Predicts Major Outcomes Interview with:
Dr. Sabita Soedamah-Muthu
Division of Human Nutrition,Wageningen University
Wageningen, the Netherlands
and Prof Trevor Orchard
Department of Epidemiology,
Graduate School of Public Health,
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: We present a new prognostic model combining information on age, glycated haemoglobin, waist-hip ratio, albumin/creatinine ratio and HDL (good) cholesterol to assess the 3, 5 and 7 year risk of developing major outcomes in patients with type 1 diabetes.
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