the sheet blog

Archive for July, 2010

Islet Sheet 101: The basics

July 18th, 2010

Question: I was wondering if you can explain your project in layman’s terms. I don’t understand what islets are; I do get that the sheets will hold something to help with blood sugars, but will that be human- or pig-based? What type of freedom will diabetics have? Will they be able to eat whatever they want, or not worry about lows? Will there be side effects? What makes your ideas better than other companies experimenting with islets? How will it work? What about the hormone Amylin: will that be present? Sorry for the stupid questions.

Scott's Opinion
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A Breakthrough in Pig Islet Transplantation?

July 6th, 2010

In the thread from my last essay I was asked my opinion of a recent paper from Washington University St. Louis showing progress in islet xenotransplantation. My quick read from the online abstract was positive. This week I decided to get the whole article and comment on it in more detail.

The authors claim “This is the first report of prolonged engraftment and sustained normalization of glucose tolerance following transplantation of porcine islets in nonimmune-suppressed, immunocompetent rodents. The data are consistent with tolerance induction….” This is important because tolerance induction could permit transplantation of islets of Langerhans without immune suppression drugs and without encapsulation — it’s the ideal solution to the immune suppression problem. Did they show true tolerance induction? After studying the paper, I choose the Scottish verdict: “Not proven.”

Current Research
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