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A regenerative medicine approach in diabetes.

Project description

Innovative pancreatic islet transplantation platform for long-term diabetes treatment

Pancreatic islet transplantation is essential for diabetes treatment. The EU-funded EYELETS project aims to create a transferable platform for monitoring and treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes in mice. The objective is to combine tissue engineering of islet cell organoids, transplantation, synthetic biology and novel microelectronic/optical readout systems for islet cells. Researchers established the anterior chamber of the eye (ACE) as a favourable environment for the long-term survival of islet grafts and the cornea, as a natural window for non-invasive monitoring of islet function. ACE engrafted islets maintain blood glucose homeostasis in diabetic animals. The project will test the hypothesis that genetically engineered islet organoids are superior to native pancreatic islets to treat insulin-dependent diabetes.

Objective

Pancreatic islet transplantation is essential for diabetes treatment. Outcome varies due to transplantation site, quality of islets and the fact that transplanted islets are affected by the same challenges as in situ islets. Tailor-making islets for transplantation by tissue engineering combined with a more favorable transplantation site that allows for both monitoring and local modulation of islet cells is thus instrumental. We have established the anterior chamber of the eye (ACE) as a favorable environment for long term survival of islet grafts and the cornea as a natural body window for non-invasive, longitudinal optical monitoring of islet function. ACE engrafted islets are able to maintain blood glucose homeostasis in diabetic animals. In addition to studies in non-human primates we are performing human clinical trials, the first patient already being transplanted. Tissue engineering of native islets is technically difficult. We will therefore apply genetically engineered islet organoids. This allows us to generate i) standardized material optimized for transplantation, function and survival, as well as ii) islet organoids suitable for monitoring (sensor islet organoids) and treating (metabolic islet organoids) insulin-dependent diabetes. We hypothesize that genetically engineered islet organoids transplanted to the ACE are superior to native pancreatic islets to monitor and treat insulin-dependent diabetes. Our overall aim is to create a platform allowing monitoring and treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes in mice that can be transferred to large animals for validation. The objective is to combine tissue engineering of islet cell organoids, transplantation to the ACE, synthetic biology, local pharmacological treatment strategies and the development of novel micro electronic/micro optical readout systems for islet cells. This regenerative medicine approach will follow our clinical trial programs and be transferred into the clinic to combat diabetes.

Keywords

Host institution

KAROLINSKA INSTITUTET
Net EU contribution
€ 2 500 000,00
Address
Nobels Vag 5
17177 Stockholm
Sweden

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Region
Östra Sverige Stockholm Stockholms län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Total cost
€ 2 500 000,00

Beneficiaries (1)