Oxygen-tracking method could improve diabetes treatment

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 15:20 in Health & Medicine

Transplanting pancreatic islet cells into patients with diabetes is a promising alternative to the daily insulin injections that many of these patients now require. These cells could act as a bioartificial pancreas, monitoring blood glucose levels and secreting insulin when needed. For this kind of transplantation to be successful, scientists need to make sure that the implanted cells receive enough oxygen, which they need in order to produce insulin and to remain viable. MIT engineers have now devised a way to measure oxygen levels of these cells over long periods of time in living animals, which should help them predict which implants will be most effective. In a paper appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Feb. 25, the researchers demonstrated that they could use this method, a specialized type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to track how oxygen levels of implanted cells in the intraperitoneal (IP)...

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