A Novel Method for the Treatment of Type I Diabetes

Categories: Other Disorders

Reference #: 2016-008

OTC Contact: Ruchika Nijhara, Ph.D., MBA, CLP, Director ( Directory Information | Send a Message )


The invention describes method to expand pancreatic islet cells from biopsy in cell culture medium and then transplanted into patients suffering from diabetes.

Islet cell transplantation is among the most effective treatments for type I diabetes, however the current use of this method has serious drawbacks, including the necessity of harvesting islet cells from more than one donor, thereby increasing the chances of graft rejection in recipients. Isolating post-natal pancreatic or islet cell progenitor cells for expansion have proven unfeasible
Georgetown University researchers have developed an islet cell culturing technique that overcomes issues of graft rejection and tissue availability. The present invention enables the use of mature islet cells from biopsy to be expanded and transplanted.


Cells can be used for transplantation into patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes, late stage type 2 diabetes and patients that have had their pancreas removed due to pancreatitis.


  • Allows expansion of mature islet cells obviating necessity of progenitor cells
  • This technique induces islet cell proliferation without requiring additional exogenous growth factors
  • Uses cultured cells from biopsy reducing chances of graft rejection in transplant recipients
  • Increases islet volume and alleviates scarcity of pancreatic donors
  • Absence of animal components improves transplantation safety

Stage of Development

Cell immortalization and expansion protocol established and reduced to practice on human pancreatic islet cells in a lab setting.


Gary I. Gallicano
Samiksha Mahapatra