The destruction of the pancreatic cells that leads to type 1 diabetes arises when the body's own immune cells identify them as foreign targets and begin to attack them. But a new technique using tiny particles to mimic the form and function of the pancreatic cells is showing promise in halting the onset of the condition.
One way sufferers of type 1 diabetes may compensate for a lack of insulin is through an experimental procedure called pancreatic islet transplantation, a process that sees clusters of cells transplanted from the pancreas of a healthy donor. A side effect of this is the need for ongoing doses of immunosuppressant drugs to stop the body attacking the foreign cells. But a new approach that sees these clusters protected by a 3D-printed scaffold is showing promise as a delivery technique, potentially pointing to less painstaking ways to manage the condition.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of a number of nasty effects diabetes can have on the human body. The disease sees the development of leaky blood vessels in the eye that over time lead to permanent loss of vision. Though it is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in American adults, its progress can be slowed by certain drugs or laser treatment. But research has now uncovered a new protein found to drive the condition, raising the possibility of preventing it altogether.
A team of researchers from MIT has discovered that creating body implants at a certain size maximizes the amount of time they can spend operational in the body before being neutralized by the immune system. In the future, the research could lead to longer term treatment avenues for diseases that could do away with the need for painful and repeated injections.
Even if you're not diabetic, you've probably heard that they need to
watch out for problems with their feet. That's because they frequently
lack sensation down there, and therefore don't know when it's time to
shift their weight in order to relieve pressure on specific areas of
their feet. The result can be chronic pressure sores, which can in turn
ultimately lead to toe or foot amputations. While pressure-sensing shoe
inserts are one option, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate
Research claims that its pressure-sensing stockings are a better way to