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Stem cells develop best in 3-D
Date:11/21/2012

bryo. Our research suggests that in the laboratory beta cells can develop better from stem cells in 3D than if we try to get them to develop flat in a Petri dish," explains Professor Grapin-Botton.

"Attempts to develop functional beta cells in 2D have unfortunately most often resulted in poorly functioning cells. Our results from developing cells in 3D have yielded promising results and are therefore an important step on the way to developing cell therapies for treating diabetes."

The research is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Swiss National Research Foundation, and the National Institute of Health (NIH), USA.

The results from the paper "Planar Cell Polarity Controls Pancreatic Beta Cell Differentiation and Glucose Homeostasis" have just been published in the scientific journal Cell Reports.

Facts on beta cells

Insulin-producing cells are also called beta cells. They are found in groups in the pancreas in the Islets of Langerhans. These cells have been destroyed in people with type 1 diabetes, who cannot therefore produce insulin. Insulin is the hormone that keeps our blood glucose level stable. Today most people with diabetes take insulin doses several times a day by hypodermic needle or insulin pump. In a few extreme cases surgeons transplant beta cells from another person to try to re-establish stable blood glucose, but this treatment strategy has severe limitations due to immunological complications and scarcity of donor tissue.


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Contact: Anne Grapin-Botton
anne.grapin-botton@sund.ku.dk
(45) 29-63-43-98
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

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