Thursday, June 01, 2006

Diabetics Take Note

Now this is really interesting. Imagine if there was a way to coat insulin-producing islet cells with a biocompatible substance (widely-used medical lubricant, polyethylene glycol) that resists attack by the immune system, yet provides egress of insulin to the surrounding tissues from within.

New work is underway in a collaborative agreement between the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Novocell, Inc on this very venture. Study specifics can be found here. Here's more about where Novocell's got most of its funding.

(Pictures courtesy of Novocell's web site)

Now don't tell me stem cell research isn't a good thing.... I just hope if the subcutaneous approach doen't work, that they try an intraperitoneal approach (in the belly cavity). Prior work with insulin pumps that used ultra-short-acting insulin showed the intraperitoneal approach was superior to subcutaneous insulin injections at minute-to-minute control.


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