Mini Organ to Treat Type 1 Diabetes

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) — A new bioengineered, miniature organ dubbed the BioHub might one day offer people with type 1 diabetes freedom from their disease.

In its final stages, the BioHub would mimic a pancreas and act as a home for transplanted islet cells, providing them with oxygen until they could establish their own blood supply. Islet cells contain beta cells, which are the cells that produce the hormone insulin. Insulin helps the body metabolize the carbohydrates found in foods so they can be used as fuel for the body’s cells.

The BioHub also would provide suppression of the immune system that would be confined to the area around the islet cells, or it’s possible each islet cell might be encapsulated to protect it against the autoimmune attack that causes type 1 diabetes.

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