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New Implantable Device Offers Hope for Insulin-Free Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes

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New Implantable Device Could Revolutionize Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes

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Introduction

A team of American scientists has developed an innovative implantable device that may soon eliminate the need for insulin injections in patients with type 1 diabetes.

The Device’s Functionality

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a device capable of producing a continuous supply of oxygen to deliver vital insulin-producing cells to diabetic patients.

By addressing the challenge of providing transplanted insulin-producing cells with sufficient oxygen during low blood glucose levels, the researchers found a way to split water vapor into hydrogen and oxygen within the body.

The released oxygen is stored in a chamber within the device, which powers the implanted insulin-producing cells. As a result, these cells can promptly respond to spikes in blood glucose levels without the need for constant monitoring and insulin injections.

Additionally, the device eliminates the necessity for immunosuppressive drugs that would otherwise affect the transplanted cells.

Successful Mouse Trials

The device was tested on mice, with one group receiving an implant that separated water vapor and another group receiving a device containing islet cells grown without supplemental oxygen. The mice receiving the implant maintained normal blood glucose levels, while the mice with the device developed hyperglycemia within two weeks.

Wireless Functionality and Future Potential

The compact device operates without wires or batteries, utilizing a low voltage of around 2 volts generated through “resonant inductive coupling.” A controlled magnetic coil on the skin’s surface transfers energy to a small flexible antenna inside the device, enabling wireless energy transmission.

The researchers plan to conduct human trials soon and believe that this technology could be adapted to treat other diseases requiring repeated protein delivery.

Experts’ Insights

Dr. Daniel Anderson, a professor of chemical engineering at MIT, describes the device as a “living medical device” composed of insulin-secreting human cells and an electronic life support system. He highlights the device’s potential to significantly improve the blood sugar levels of insulin-dependent diabetics.

MIT research scientist Siddharth Krishnan, the lead author of the study, emphasizes the stability and durability of the materials used in the device, indicating the possibility of long-term effectiveness.

Conclusion

The new implantable device developed by MIT scientists offers hope for a future where type 1 diabetes patients can potentially live without the burden of regular insulin injections. With ongoing research and human trials, this groundbreaking technology could revolutionize diabetes treatment and potentially benefit patients with other medical conditions.

Source: Daily Mail

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