People living with type 1 diabetes should constantly check their blood sugar and inject insulin. An Israeli biomedical company claims that soon - thanks to their implant - this will not be necessary.
Beta-O2 Technologies has developed a prototype of an implantable titanium device, which it has called the “Bio-Artificial Pancreas,” or ßAir for short. Inside the apparatus, only 64 mm in size is a microcapsule with living pancreatic cells. They can be obtained from human donors, pigs, or grown from the patient’s own stem cells. The external port on the oxygen tank needs to be replenished with oxygen once a week.
After implantation under the skin, ßAir begins to constantly monitor glucose levels. If necessary, pancreatic cells produce and deliver insulin. But the main feature of the device is the oxygen supply. Previous experiments with artificial pancreas showed that in the case of a limited supply of oxygen in the patient’s blood, cells lose viability.
According to hightech.plus, it has already been tested on four patients from Sweden. After ten months of wearing, they did not experience any side effects - the cells remained alive and active. Now the company is testing rats of the second generation of the device, which also shows good results. Larger clinical trials in humans are scheduled for this year.
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