A technique that encapsulates cells in polymer might someday benefit people who receive pancreas-cell transplants for diabetes, researchers say.
In type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells in pancreatic-cell clusters called islets. Patients then must inject themselves regularly with insulin to control blood glucose.
An experimental treatment that transfers a deceased donor's islets to another person can reduce the need for insulin, but the recipient must continuously take immunosuppressive drugs—which have serious side effects—to prevent the body from rejecting the transplanted cells.
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