New System For Pancreatic Islet Transplants Reduces Immune Rejection for Type 1 Diabetes – Market News Store

New System For Pancreatic Islet Transplants Reduces Immune Rejection for Type 1 Diabetes

Pancreatic islet cells transplant is a sort of treatment plan available to type 1 diabetes patients. But immune rejection by recipient proves to be a major barrier in its way. One solution could be to place islets, which are the groups of cells that produce insulin, within microcapsules that are made of materials less likely to induce an immune response. But even then microencapsulation can increase immune reaction risk as achieving desired target means high implant volume, resulting in several empty capsules.

Some Spanish researchers have developed magnetic system for purification of microcapsules by separating out empty ones. The description of the process has been published in International Journal of Pharmaceutics. The system, tested on rats, showed that post implantation of magnetically-purified islet microcapsules, diabetic rats achieved normal blood glucose levels and retained them for almost 17 weeks. Albert Espona-Noguera explains that islet transplants have a disadvantage as immunosuppressant drugs are used for long periods of time for prevention of immune rejection of transplanted islets, which lower defense mechanism of patient for fighting serious medical conditions.

Type 1 diabetes happens when immune system destroys insulin-producing cells present in pancreas. With no insulin, cells of the body fail to absorb glucose from blood for making energy, resulting in alarmingly high blood sugar levels. Data suggests that type 1 diabetes’ prevalence is rising globally. There were about 387m individuals globally in 2014 with diabetes, 5-10% of which had type 1. Islet transplants aren’t available for everyone yet. Most people are still compelled to take insulin and regulate glucose levels each day. Microencapsulation can solve two problems- one is the need for islet donors and the other is the dependence immunosuppressants. The system functions by addition of magnetic nanoparticles to islets prior to microencapsulation. Post that, microcapsules go through magnetic purifier, which separates microcapsules with magnetic islets from non-magnetic, empty microcapsules. Separation process occurs in 3D-printed microfluidic chip containing tiny magnet-containing channels. The positioning of magnets are such that magnetic and non-magnetic microcapsules go separate ways.

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