Researchers Using Stem Cells To Treat Diabetes

Researchers are now trying to find a way of treating diabetes using stem cells. According to a new study, it may just be a step or two away. Researchers from Novocell Inc., a stem cell engineering company in San Diego reports that they may have found a way to convert human embryonic stem cells into insulin producing cells.

According to Dr. Emmanuel Baetge, chief scientific officer at Novocell Inc. and the primary study investigator, they have found that the converted stem cells alleviated diabetes in rodents after they were injected into diabetic mice. He said that the new technique developed by the team of researchers would allow the production of a bulk supply of clean and uncontaminated insulin-secreting cells that can be readily used by diabetic patients.

“This is a much more controlled process, and you basically are sure of getting the same quality of cell every time you do the implant,” Baetge said. “Currently, a patient would have to wait and wait for a cadaver organ to become available, and even then there is a high risk of the cells from that organ being infected or contaminated. If we instead use embryonic stem cells then we can also make unlimited numbers of these cells and have an unlimited source that we can stockpile and have available whenever a patient is ready for it,” he further added.

This development may be an exciting advancement in diabetes research and treatment. Through this new method, experts believe theoretically that the production of insulin-secreting cells by bulk would finally be possible.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/DiabetesResource/story?id=4318544&page

 

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