Emerging technologies in regenerative medicine have the potential to restore the β-cell compartment in diabetic patients, thereby overcoming the inadequacies of current treatment strategies and organ supply. Novel approaches include: 1) Encapsulation technology that protects islet transplants from host immune surveillance; 2) stem cell therapies and cellular reprogramming, which seek to regenerate the depleted β-cell compartment; and 3) whole-organ bioengineering, which capitalizes on the innate properties of the pancreas extracellular matrix to drive cellular repopulation. Collaborative efforts across these subfields of regenerative medicine seek to ultimately produce a bioengineered pancreas capable of restoring endocrine function in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes.
- Received November 13, 2013.
- Accepted January 9, 2014.
- © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.
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