Diabetes Immunoengineering: Redesigning Encapsulated Cell Transplant Therapies
Diabetes remains a global healthcare challenge, affecting 370 million people worldwide. Islet transplantation offers
the potential to restore insulin function in diabetes-1 patients, and is proving successful in human clinical trials.
However a major limitation is the requirement for patients to take global immunosuppressive drugs, often daily, for the remainder of their lives. These drugs can impact the quality of life for the patient, and may lead to an impaired immune system at risk of opportunistic pathogens. The scientific aim of this project is to develop innovative multifunctional materials for diabetes-1 cell therapies; those that can better support islet function and also direct the host immune system, removing the need for global immune suppression and enhancing transplant lifetimes.
This project connects a talented young researcher with a background in chemistry, biomaterials science and
immunoengineering, to a host institution with expertise in drug delivery and tissue engineering (Nottingham), and an
internationally renowned outgoing institution (Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School) with expertise in transplant encapsulation and diabetes therapies.
Combining the localised drug delivery expertise of the host institution, the diabetes-1 cell therapy transplant knowledge of
the outgoing institution, and the researcher’s own expertise in immunoengineering presents a unique opportunity and new
approach to addressing this healthcare challenge, and facilitates development of the researcher's career through a specified
training-in-research program. Bridging the gap between the transplant immunology, biomaterials and drug delivery fields in
this way meets the “Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World” EU vision towards Open Science and follows the
road map for integrative research proposed by the UK Medical Research Councils for regenerative medicine research.
Fields of science
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicineendocrinologydiabetes
- engineering and technologyindustrial biotechnologybiomaterials
- medical and health sciencesbasic medicineimmunology
- medical and health sciencesmedical biotechnologytissue engineering
- medical and health sciencesmedical biotechnologycells technologies
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call