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UCI researchers awarded $2.27 million to create novel diabetes treatments
Date:6/26/2013

ve permeability, meaning that some small molecules, such as glucose and insulin, can pass across the barrier, while large antibodies and immunological molecules are blocked from entering into the space containing the islets.

"Perhaps the greatest challenge in the field of islet transplantation is to make the metabolic benefits available to patients with Type 1 diabetes without the need for chronic immunosuppression," said Lakey, who's also director of UC Irvine Health's Clinical Islet Program. "I believe that this technology has great promise for realizing our goal. And this welcome support from the JDRF should speed our progress."

With the other grant, Zhao and his colleagues will try to develop an insulin sensor for the JDRF's Artificial Pancreas Project, which supports the creation of an automated system to dispense insulin based on real-time changes in blood sugar levels. Central to such a device is a mechanism that can accurately determine blood insulin amounts to provide feedback control for the artificial pancreas.

Existing systems deliver insulin via a pump under closed-loop control using data from a continuous glucose sensor. They are, however, associated with severe risks especially insulin overdose when any of their components malfunction.

Zhao will receive $1 million for the two-year effort, with the potential for further funding if his team comes up with a promising model. "Integrating a real-time insulin sensor into the artificial pancreas system will allow us to precisely monitor and control the levels of both sugar and insulin, ultimately leading to safe and effective management of diabetes," he said.

Other UC Irvine researchers involved in these projects include Bernard Choi, associate professor of surgery and biomedical engineering; Dr. Clarence Foster, clinical professor of surgery and chief of the School of Medicine's transplantation division; and Frank Zaldivar and Dr. Pietro Galassetti with the Ins
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Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

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