People with Type 1 Diabetes must carefully follow prescribed insulin regimens every day, receiving hormone injections via syringe, insulin pump, or other devices. Without viable long-term treatments, this course of treatment is a lifelong sentence.
Pancreatic islets control insulin production when blood sugar levels change, and in Type 1 Diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells. Islet transplantation has emerged over the past few decades as a potential cure for Type 1 Diabetes. With healthy transplanted islets, Type 1 Diabetes patients may no longer need insulin injections, but transplantation efforts have faced setbacks as the immune system continues to reject new islets eventually.
The Northwestern team is led by Evan Scott, the Kay Davis Professor and an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and microbiology-immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Guillermo Ameer, the Daniel Hale Williams Professor of Biomedical Engineering at McCormick and Surgery at Feinberg. Ameer also serves as the director of the Center for Advanced Regenerative Engineering (CARE).