Lab-grown islets for diabetes

Large volumes of insulin-producing cells from pig islets have been successfully generated by US researchers using a 'bioreactor'.

They have also cultured small preparations of human islet cells, and intend to scale up production. They plan to use human cells grown in the bioreactor for transplanting into patients with type-1 diabetes, instead of cells harvested from the short supply of cadavers ( journals/bipret). Pictured is a coloured scanning electron micrograph of digestive-enzyme-secreting cells in the pancreas.

- Turn to page 2 for a full index of clinical contents, by condition.

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