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16 - 08 - 2009

Transplants of pancreatic cells to treat type 1 diabetes?

Type 1 diabetes is cause by an autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic cells that produce insulin (beta cells). This results in hyper – and hypo- glycaemia, weight loss and often extreme thirst and tiredness. The standard treatment for the disease is a regular injection of insulin. It is a very heavy, lifelong treatment. To compensate for the loss of these cells, researchers have attempted to develop a therapy based on the injection of pig beta cells (the availably of human cells is very limited). Groups of cells englobed in protective nanometric layers were successfully tested in vitro. Tests in mice are to follow.