What is the potential for stem cells to take care of diabetes,
Developing and testing a truly effective stem-cell based treatment for diabetes will take years. Researchers are looking at ways to restore the number of functional beta cells in patients with diabetes, pursuing both the replacement of lost beta cells and the protection of beta cells from further damage.
The first section of this is to generateâor regenerateâ? cells that sense glucose and produce insulin that might ultimately be used to displace the beta cells lost as both type 1 and 2 diabetes progresses. Several different approaches are being used, including:
– Making beta cells from embryonic stem cells or iPS cells. If you cherished this post and you also would like to obtain much more details regarding â¦ kindly pay a visit to the page. Embryonic stem cells and iPS cells can be grown in lot in the laboratory and have the potential to be coaxed in to becoming any cell type in your body, including glucose sensing, insulin-producing beta cells. Recent leaps forward in these technologies make this a very promising avenue for generating large numbers of replacement beta cells.
– Stimulating beta cells to make many more copies of themselves. Beta cells can do this in the pancreas, but frequently very slowly, and less and less as we get older. Researchers are seeking drugs that might enhance this self-renewal as a possible treatment for people with type 2 or early-stage type 1 diabetes.
Key to these approaches gets beta cells into a place in your body where they can work and protecting them from what was damaging them in the first place. This includes transplantation in to parts of the body where the replacement cells are less likely to be attacked by the immune system or placement of the cells into protective capsules. Such capsules are porous and would allow small molecules such as glucose and insulin to pass through while protecting the beta cells from the cells of the immune system.
For type 1 diabetes, there are a number of experimental approaches being taken to curb the immune systemâs attack on the beta cells. Most of these are still being explored in the lab. There are some clinical trials underway to test whether blood stem cells or mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow might alter or re-set the immune system such that it no longer attacks the beta cells. However, the mechanisms underlying how this use of these cells works are not well understood, and further research is needed to establish whether any of these approaches will prove safe and effec