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Mar 16, 2019

Stem Cell Therapies for Treating Diabetes: Progress and Remaining Challenges

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, sustainability

It is often not the lack of a cure, but the lack of will. Many great strides have been made with diabetes, when people stopped trying to develop medicines, and instead focused on how to enable the body to produce insulin.


Restoration of insulin independence and normoglycemia has been the overarching goal in diabetes research and therapy. While whole-organ and islet transplantation have become gold-standard procedures in achieving glucose control in diabetic patients, the profound lack of suitable donor tissues severely hampers the broad application of these therapies. Here, we describe current efforts aimed at generating a sustainable source of functional human stem cell-derived insulin-producing islet cells for cell transplantation and present state-of-the-art efforts to protect such cells via immune modulation and encapsulation strategies.

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