Friday, March 16, 2012

Stem cell image of the week: Pancreatic cells for a diabetes therapy

Pancreatic cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. ViaCyte, Inc.

This colorful river of cells is really a side shot of pancreatic cells within a thin device. The cells, which were matured from embryonic stem cells, are being developed as a therapy for diabetes by a CIRM-funded disease team led by ViaCyte in La Jolla.

The group is maturing embryonic stem cells into the type of pancreatic cells that produce insulin in response to blood sugar. These are the cells that are destroyed in people with diabetes. The group puts those cells within a thin device to protect them from the body’s immune system. When they implant the device in animals, the cells appear to function properly and release appropriate amounts of insulin to control blood sugar.

The group is now working toward clinical trials to test the device in humans. We wrote more about the ViaCyte-led team last week. You can read that story and watch a video about the work here.

We have more diabetes images on our Flickr site, where you can also learn more about what the different colors represent in today's image.


1 comment:

  1. Stem cells are biological cells found in all multicellular organisms, that can divide through mitosis and differentiate into diverse specialized cell types and can self-renew to produce more stem cells. In mammals, there are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells, which are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells, which are found in various tissues. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing adult tissues.Stem Cell Therapies