New Type 1 Diabetes to Control Blood Sugar Levels Automatically

Sunday, May 5, 2019 - 16:37

Scientists have developed a new way to treat Type 1 diabetes which can control blood sugar level automatically.

According to the DW report, researchers developed a new way to treat Type 1 diabetes that would release insulin into a person when an oxygen-enhanced implantable device senses their glucose level is too low.

Klearchos Papas, a University of Arizona professor in the department of surgery, has been heading this research at the UA and developing the implantable device in collaboration with researchers and scientists worldwide.

The device Papas is developing is a variation of a device known as a "tea bag" that protects the transplanted islets from being attacked by the body's immune system. The tea bag device was first developed by a team of scientists at Baxter led by Robert Johnson, a research professor in the Institute for Cellular Transplantation at the UA, in the 1990s. Johnson is a Type 1 diabetic, diagnosed in 1969, and has been conducting research on diabetes throughout his career.

The version Papas is working on allows more oxygen to reach the "tea bag" without increasing the size of the device, which can improve the ability of the islets to produce insulin and also remove the need for immunosuppression. As another obstacle to islet transplantation is the limited amount of islets available, improving the ability of the donated islets to produce insulin means less would be needed per person.

Papas said as the research moves closer to being ready for human testing, the work gets more expensive and more intense.

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