Diabetes Reversing Implants with enhanced Viabilit.. (DRIVE)
Diabetes Reversing Implants with enhanced Viability and long-term Efficacy
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2019
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterised by high blood glucose due to inadequate insulin production and/or insulin resistance which affects 382 million people worldwide. Pancreatic islet transplantation is an extremely promising cure for insulin-sensitive diabetes mellitus (ISDM), but side effects of lifelong systemic immunosuppressive therapy, short supply of donor islets and their poor survival and efficacy in the portal vein limit the application of the current clinical procedure to the most at-risk brittle Type I diabetes (T1D) sufferers. The DRIVE consortium will develop a novel suite of bio-interactive hydrogels (β-Gel) and on-demand drug release systems to deliver islets in a protective macrocapsule (β-Shell) to the peritoneum with targeted deposition using a specialised injection catheter (β-Cath). Pancreatic islets will be microencapsulated in β-Gels; biofunctionalised injectable hydrogels containing immunosuppressive agents and polymeric microparticles with tuneable degradation profiles for localised delivery of efficacy cues. These β-Gels will be housed in a porous retrievable macrocapsule, β-Shell, for added retention, engraftment, oxygenation, vascularisation and immunoprotection of the islets. A minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure (O-Fold) will be used to create an omental fold and at the same time deliver β-Shell. An extended residence time in β-Gel will enhance long-term clinical efficacy of the islets and result in improved glycemic control. The novel β-Gels will also be developed as human three-dimensional in-vitro models of in-vivo behaviour. Islet harvesting and preservation technologies will be developed to facilitate their optimised yield, safe handling and transport, and ease of storage. DRIVE will also enable the future treatment of a broader range of T1 and insulin-sensitive T2 diabetics by working with induced pluripotent stem cell experts to ensure the compatibility of our system with future stem cell sources of β-cells.
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