Replacing Insulin Producing Cells
One of the most promising therapies in the fight against diabetes is the replacement of insulin-producing cells. This cell replacement therapy includes the transplantation of islet cells provided by a donor pancreas, which can function in diabetes patients for years. Islet transplant recipients can maintain some insulin production, more easily manage their blood sugar levels, eliminate hypoglycemic episodes and experience an improved quality of life.
At the Diabetes Research Institute, we’ve pioneered many of the advances that make cell replacement therapy, including islet transplantation, possible - and we continue to investigate ways to make it safer and more effective.
- What are Islet Cells?: Islet cells are responsible for insulin production. In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys these cells.
- Islet Transplantation: Researchers have shown that islet cell replacement can normalize blood sugar levels and prevent hypoglycemia in individuals with type 1 diabetes. Learn how islet transplants are done, how our researchers are assessing the quality of cells for transplant, and how we’re monitoring the long-term function of those cells.
- Improving Transplant Technology: Much of today’s research at the DRI is aimed at achieving long-term islet function and making the transplant procedure available for every child and adult who can benefit from it.