March 2, 2012

A 6-week SCUBA for islet cells


Oxygen is a precious resource for everyday life and the very beginning stages of older cells in a new place. A recent study is showing that the survival rate of newly transplanted islets is remarkably improved with a natural coating.  

The survival rate of transplanted islets is not as good as it needs to be. The islets demand a high level of nutrients, namely oxygen, after transplantation for survival. For the first time,  scientists have been able to successfully deliver oxygen locally to beta cells using a biomaterial

Thanks to the masterminds at the Diabetes Research Institute this medical marvel confirms that the DRI continues to show it is the best hope for a cure for those now living with diabetes.

I must cut-and-paste the following information because it’s too important to misconstrue. “The DRI team, led by Dr. Cherie Stabler, developed a novel oxygen-generating material (termed PDMS-aO2), which has the capacity to generate this critical element when exposed to water. This spontaneous generation of oxygen creates a nutrient-rich environment with sustained oxygen supplementation for more than six weeks. ”

That’s amazing! It’s like a time-release organically engineered breathing apparatus for cells.  I’m embellishing for dramatic effect but this is, quite possibly, the defensive line that may win the game in islet cell transplants.

A hero and scientific director at the DRI, Dr. Camillo Ricordi, commented “this novel method for sustained oxygen delivery within the microenvironment of tissue-engineered sites could be critically important to improve the survival of transplanted cellular products. The new platform technology could be particularly useful during the delicate post-implantation phase, in which new blood vessels are growing to provide full nutritional and oxygen support to the transplanted tissue.”

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