This new material can cure diabetes

Washington: A new research has come up with material that can be used to encapsulate human islet cells and can cure diabetes for up to six months.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have designed a material that can be used to encapsulate human islet cells before transplanting them. In tests on mice, they showed that these encapsulated human cells could cure diabetes for up to six months, without provoking an immune response.

Daniel Anderson, Associate Professor in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and his colleagues have come up with a way to make encapsulated islet cell transplantation a viable therapeutic approach.

They began by exploring chemical derivatives of alginate, a material originally isolated from brown algae. Alginate gels can be made to encapsulate cells without harming them, and also allow molecules such as sugar and proteins to move through, making it possible for cells inside to sense and respond to biological signals.

The researchers found that 1.5-millimeter diameter capsules made from their best materials (but not carrying islet cells) could be implanted into the intraperitoneal space of nonhuman primates for at least six months without scar tissue building up.

The researchers are also investigating why their new material worked so well. They found that the best-performing materials were all modified with molecules containing a triazole group,a ring containing two carbon atoms and three nitrogen atoms.

The study is published in the journal Nature Medicine. (ANI)