First-Ever Stem Cell Implant to Cure Diabetes Type -1

More than 422 million people are reported with diabetes worldwide according to the world health organization. The general form of diabetes occurs as Type-1 (pancreas produces low or no insulin) and Type-2 (produced insulin cannot be utilized by the body). Type-1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attack and destroy beta cells (produce insulin) of pancreas. Type-1 diabetes cases account for 10% of total diabetes cases.

Scientists at ViaCyte, a regenerative medicine company in San Diego, California, found out a therapy based on embryonic stem cells which can automatically release insulin into the body whenever it is required and restore the raised blood sugar levels to normal. ViaCyte calls the thumbnail sized stem cell derived implant as PEC-Direct. The implant sits in the forearm just below the skin and compensates for the Islets of Langerhans of beta cells of the pancreas.

If effective, it helps in freeing recipients from injecting insulin and monitoring blood sugar levels from time to time, but the shortage of donors may limit the people to have this therapy.

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