Study reveals diabetes may be treated using eye implants


Swedish researchers have developed a microscale gadget for implantation within the eye, probably opening up new avenues for cell-based therapy of diabetes and different ailments.

A group from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institutet created the 3D-printed gadget with the objective of encapsulating insulin-producing pancreatic cells with digital sensors. The findings had been revealed within the journal Advanced Materials by the researchers.

The collaboration between KTH and Karolinska Institutet permits microorganisms, particularly pancreatic islets or Langerhans islets, to be exactly positioned within the eye with out the usage of sutures. It opens up the opportunity of cell-based remedy, corresponding to treating Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, utilising the eye as a basis.

According to Anna Herland, senior lecturer within the Division of Bionanotechnology at SciLifeLab at KTH and the AIMES analysis centre at KTH and Karolinska Institutet, the eye is great for this know-how because it lacks immune cells that may reply negatively throughout the first stage of implantation. Because of its transparency, it permits for visible and microscopic examination of what happens to the implant over time.

“The eye is our only window into the body, and it’s immune-privileged,” Anna Herland mentioned.

The gadget is designed as a wedge, about 240 micrometres lengthy, permitting the construction to be mechanically mounted on the angle between the iris and the cornea within the anterior chamber of the eye (ACE). The work demonstrates the primary mechanical fixation of a tool within the anterior chamber of the eye.

“We designed the medical device to hold living mini-organs in a micro-cage and introduced the use of a flap door technique to avoid the need for additional fixation,” mentioned Wouter van der Wijngaart, professor within the Division of Micro- and Nanosystems at KTH.

In checks on mice, the gadget maintained its place within the residing organism for a number of months, and the mini-organs shortly built-in with the host animal’s blood vessels and functioned usually, Herland says.

Per-Olof Berggren, professor of experimental endocrinology at Karolinska Institute, contributed to the analysis with years of expertise in transplanting islets of Langerhans to the anterior chamber of the eye in mice.

“The current unit is unique and will among other things form the basis for our continued work to develop an integrated microsystem for studying the function and survival of the islets of Langerhans in the anterior chamber of the eye,” Per-Olof Berggren mentioned.

“This is also of great translational importance, as transplantation of Langerhans islands to the anterior chamber of the eye in humans is subject to clinical trials in patients with diabetes.”

Herland says the know-how overcomes one impediment to the event of cell therapies, together with these for diabetes. Namely, there is no such thing as a want for invasive strategies to observe the graft’s perform and to information care to be able to guarantee long-term transplant success.

“Ours is a first step towards advanced medical microdevices that can both localise and monitor the function of cell grafts,” she mentioned. She mentioned the design makes it attainable to place mini-organs, corresponding to organoids and islets of Langerhans, with out limiting the availability of vitamins to the cells. “Our design will enable future integration and use of more advanced device functions such as integrated electronics or drug release.”

(with inputs from ANI)

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