Breaking News
June 20, 2018 - Elevated NT-proBNP Found to Up Cardiovascular Risk in T2DM
June 20, 2018 - Genetics Home Reference: White-Sutton syndrome
June 20, 2018 - Canadian team reports success in transplanting hepatitis C organs
June 20, 2018 - Separating migrant children from parents at US border tantamount to child abuse
June 20, 2018 - Study finds more information about how gene linked to ASD affects the brain
June 20, 2018 - Floppy eyelids linked to sleep apnea
June 20, 2018 - Can-Fite provides update on Phase II clinical trial with drug candidate Namodenoson
June 20, 2018 - KIYATEC enrolls first patients with solid tumors in clinical study of its EV3D drug response assay
June 20, 2018 - Study finds growing support to allow pharmacists to write prescriptions
June 20, 2018 - Italian innovative SME receives 2.5 million Euro from RedSeed Ventures
June 20, 2018 - AHA: Kids Can Drown Quickly and Silently, So Prevention Is Key
June 20, 2018 - Continuous glucose monitors proven cost-effective, add to quality of life for diabetics
June 20, 2018 - Researchers use droplet-sized ‘miniecosystems’ to test therapeutic potential of molecules
June 20, 2018 - New approach could provide objective and easy-to-obtain measure of dietary adherence
June 20, 2018 - Dual-therapy approach can help boost motor recovery in stroke victims
June 20, 2018 - ‘Miracle treatment’ long-term success for babies with diabetes
June 20, 2018 - Rheumatoid Arthritis patients with depression have increased risk of disease flare
June 20, 2018 - NTU launches new research centers to prevent and treat diseases affecting Singaporeans
June 20, 2018 - Merck enters into agreement with HistoCyte Laboratories to distribute cell line reference products
June 20, 2018 - Researchers examine risk factors for opioid dependence in patients undergoing surgery for DS
June 20, 2018 - Study finds substantial variation in cardiovascular risk across India
June 20, 2018 - Kidney donation among carefully-selected older adults poses minimal risks
June 20, 2018 - Effects of atrial fibrillation can be reduced or reversed by losing weight
June 20, 2018 - Allergan’s Oral CGRP Receptor Antagonist Atogepant Demonstrates Robust Efficacy and Safety in Episodic Migraine Prevention in a Phase 2b/3 Clinical Trial
June 20, 2018 - The novel insights of proteoglycans in mineralized tissues
June 20, 2018 - Scientists shed light on key aspect of healthy cell division
June 20, 2018 - Circulating bone turnover markers not linked to hip fracture risk, shows study
June 20, 2018 - Scientists obtain key information about proteins from single human cells
June 20, 2018 - Scientists identify novel genes linked with infantile forms of schizophrenia
June 20, 2018 - Low-dose aspirin could help pregnant women with high blood pressure avoid a dangerous condition
June 20, 2018 - Unusual gene provides novel insight into how the brain wires itself
June 20, 2018 - Study finds IV acetaminophen to be no more effective than oral counterpart for colectomy patients
June 20, 2018 - MAARA to celebrate its 50th anniversary with lecture titled ‘The Future of Asthma’
June 20, 2018 - Administration eases way for small businesses to buy insurance in bulk
June 20, 2018 - High-Quality Diet May Decrease Mortality Risk in Cancer Survivors
June 20, 2018 - JAMA editorial on ECG screening and cardiac risks
June 20, 2018 - Study hints at benefits of lifestyle interventions in reducing dementia risk
June 20, 2018 - Low blood levels of vitamin D linked to increased risk of interstitial lung disease
June 20, 2018 - Simple cognitive task after brain injury improves memory function, study finds
June 20, 2018 - Clinical trial targets metastatic colorectal cancer with new combination therapy
June 20, 2018 - Researchers discover pesticide-free way to limit mosquitoes and reduce spread of West Nile virus
June 20, 2018 - Persistent psychological stress contributes to development and progression of vision loss
June 20, 2018 - Study introduces novel strategy to obtain reasonable drug cost estimates for cost-effectiveness analyses
June 20, 2018 - Does Salt Water Help Your Cut? And Other Health Myths of Summer
June 20, 2018 - Scientists help identify genetic markers for prostate cancer in global DNA download
June 19, 2018 - Common ingredient in toothpaste and hand wash could contribute to antibiotic resistance
June 19, 2018 - WHO launches multiyear campaign to eliminate use of trans fat
June 19, 2018 - Scientists could build better drugs by learning from bacteria-derived molecules
June 19, 2018 - Comparative silence between firing spikes of neurons reveals what they are really up to
June 19, 2018 - JAK inhibitors associated with aggressive lymphoma
June 19, 2018 - SetPoint announces positive long-term results of bioelectronic medicine to treat rheumatoid arthritis
June 19, 2018 - Hypnosis may help reduce fear, anxiety in children undergoing treatment for cancer
June 19, 2018 - Scientists point to potentially promising treatment target for deadly brain cancers
June 19, 2018 - After opioid overdose, only 30 percent get medicine to treat addiction
June 19, 2018 - Patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease over age 65 continue to derive benefit from DBS-f treatment
June 19, 2018 - Microbiotica partners with University of Adelaide to develop defined bacterial product for ulcerative colitis
June 19, 2018 - Paratek Presents New Analysis from Combined Phase 3 Skin Infection Studies Highlighting Efficacy of Omadacycline in Treating Drug Resistant S. aureus
June 19, 2018 - Autism is not linked to eating fish in pregnacy
June 19, 2018 - Scientists create universal assembly method to enhance cancer therapy and diagnostics
June 19, 2018 - Follow-up study confirms success of physiological test for autism
June 19, 2018 - FDA provides guidance on Novus Therapeutics’ development path for OP-02 to treat otitis media
June 19, 2018 - Scientists discover new mechanism controlling multiple sclerosis risk
June 19, 2018 - Award granted to Neem Biotech to develop antimicrobial intervention for chronic lung infections
June 19, 2018 - Study finds combined risk of death and developing cancer to be lowest in light drinkers
June 19, 2018 - Novel app teaches users how to stop life-threatening bleeding and save lives
June 19, 2018 - Single blood sample can provide adequate confirmation of diabetes
June 19, 2018 - New stimulation method increases hope for improving disorders of consciousness
June 19, 2018 - FDA Issues Complete Response Letter for Duobrii (halobetasol propionate and tazarotene) Lotion
June 19, 2018 - Defining the biology of autism
June 19, 2018 - Researchers use optogenetics to shape tissues
June 19, 2018 - Scientists discover genetic causes underlying group of related infant cancers
June 19, 2018 - Innovative digital home testing kit benefits patients with kidney conditions
June 19, 2018 - New guidance on selection and evaluation of wearable devices for use in regulatory clinical trials
June 19, 2018 - Researchers understand the role of brain’s ‘reward circuit’ in autism spectrum disorder
June 19, 2018 - Researchers propose new strategy to combat micro-pollutants in water
June 19, 2018 - Illicit Opioid Trade Up With Restrictions on Hydrocodone
June 19, 2018 - New 3-D imaging analysis technique could lead to improved arthritis treatment
June 19, 2018 - Study finds increased risk of mortality in people with cold agglutinin disease in five years after diagnosis
June 19, 2018 - Psychologists can play important role in treating alcohol problems
June 19, 2018 - Study finds elevated risk of congenital defects in lithium-exposed infants
Spider’s web inspires removable implant that may control type 1 diabetes

Spider’s web inspires removable implant that may control type 1 diabetes

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Doctoral students Alan Chiu, left, and Duo An hold a sample of TRAFFIC (Thread-Reinforced Alginate Fiber for Islets enCapsulation). In the background, left to right, are Minglin Ma, Dan Luo, Meredith Silberstein and Dr. James Flanders. Credit: Cornell University

For the more than 1 million Americans who live with type 1 diabetes, daily insulin injections are literally a matter of life and death. And while there is no cure, a Cornell University-led research team has developed a device that could revolutionize management of the disease.

In Type 1 diabetes, insulin-producing pancreatic cell clusters (islets) are destroyed by the body’s immune system. The research group, led by assistant professor Minglin Ma from the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, has devised an ingenious method for implanting hundreds of thousands of islet cells into a patient. They are protected by a thin hydrogel coating and, more importantly, the coated cells are attached to a polymer thread and can be removed or replaced easily when they have outlived their usefulness.

Transplantation of stem cell-derived, insulin-producing islet cells is an alternative to insulin therapy, but that requires long-term immunosuppressive drug administration. One well-researched approach to avoid the immune system’s response is to coat and protect the cells in tiny hydrogel capsules, hundreds of microns in diameter. However, these capsules cannot be taken out of the body easily, since they’re not connected to each other, and there are hundreds of thousands of them.

And the ability to remove the transplant is key because of its potential to form tumors.

“When they fail or die, they need to come out,” Ma said. “You don’t want to put something in the body that you can’t take out. With our method, that’s not a problem.”

A schematic illustration of TRAFFIC (Thread-Reinforced Alginate Fiber for Islets enCapsulation), the implant device for control of type 1 diabetes developed in the lab of Cornell’s Minglin Ma, biological and environmental engineering. Credit: Cornell University

Taking inspiration from the way water beads on a spider’s web, Ma and his team first attempted to connect the islet cell-containing capsules through a string but realized that it would be better to put the hydrogel layer uniformly around a string instead. That string: an ionized calcium-releasing, nanoporous polymer thread.

This thread – which the group has dubbed TRAFFIC (Thread-Reinforced Alginate Fiber For Islets enCapsulation) – was inspired by a spider’s web but, according to Ma, is even better because the hydrogel covers the thread uniformly.

“You don’t have any gaps between capsules,” he said. “With a spider’s silk, you still have gaps between the water beads. In our case, gaps would be bad in terms of scar tissue and the like.”

This therapy would involve minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery to implant approximately six feet of hydrogel-coated thread into the patient’s peritoneal cavity.

TRAFFIC has received patent protection with the help of Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, which developed injectable insulin more than 90 years ago and is a collaborator on the paper. Other co-authors include professor Dan Luo in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, postdoctoral researcher Wei Song, doctoral students Jason Lu and Yehudah Pardo, fiber science postdoc Dahua Shou, nutritional science professor Ling Qi and postdoc Yewei Ji.


Explore further:
Research could treat Type I Diabetes by engineering pancreatic islets outside the body

Provided by:
Cornell University

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles