Teflon-coated donor cells fight diabetes
Researchers at University of California San Diego have created a Teflon-coated pouch to encase harvested insulin-producing cells, known as islet cells, for possible transplant into patients with diabetes.
Teflon is widely used in surgical implants due to its compatibility with human tissue. The pouch, made of a fine membrane, allows insulin to escape, but does not permit the attack of immune system cells. As a result, the transplanted cells are able to continue producing insulin, potentially eliminating the need for diabetic patients to inject insulin.
Laboratory tests were conducted in mice and indicate progress in the risk of transplant rejection. In it's early stages, the technology will require further development to provide a real and lasting treatment for diabetes.