iPS cells have the potential to become any specialized cell by going through a process called differentiation. To combat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, Dr. Kulkarni and his team have been collecting human cells to study how turning iPS cells into beta cells may induce beta cell proliferation or inhibit insulin resistance. Currently, the Kulkarni lab has cell collections from 30 to 40 individuals with different types of diabetes. The long term goal is to create large numbers of insulin-secreting beta cells and put them back into a diabetes patient’s pancreas.
Very interesting work! I don’t know if any of this research will hold any benefits for me in this lifetime but it’s fascinating to learn about these advances. Thanks for sharing!
I can see how your own cells would avoid the rejection problem. But I wonder: An underlying issue caused your body to destroy beta cells or cause insulin resistance in the first place. Won’t these same issues destroy the lab-created versions as well?