Pancreas: Existing or Potential Regenerative Medicine Strategies

Some 5 to 10 percent of patients with diabetes in the United States have type 1 diabetes. More than 13,000 young people are newly diagnosed with this type of diabetes each year. There is a great need for creating an artificial pancreas, a breakthrough development that could dramatically change the lives of these patients. Artificial organs may be harvested from donor islet cells or grown in a laboratory from cells stimulated to grow or differentiate into the cell types that compose a healthy pancreas. However, a major challenge to such efforts is to develop a pancreas that will succeed in producing insulin, since its production and secretion necessitate tight hormonal regulation by several molecules including glucagon and somatostatin. Therefore, research in the field of ...

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