Navigation Links
Diabetes Research Institute Tests BioHub Mini Organ to Restore Natural Insulin Production in Type 1 Diabetes

MIAMI, Fla., March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists from the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami are taking a quantum leap toward a biological cure for diabetes by unveiling the DRI BioHub, a bioengineered "mini organ" that contains lifesaving insulin-producing cells that can sense blood sugar and release the precise amount of insulin needed in real time. The BioHub platform mimics the native pancreas and brings the promise of restoring natural insulin production and normalizing blood sugar levels in millions living with diabetes one step closer to reality.



The DRI's research focus has been on developing a biological cure for diabetes by replacing the insulin-producing islets cells that have been mistakenly destroyed by the immune system in those with type 1 diabetes. Clinical trials have already shown that people with long-standing diabetes can achieve insulin independence after receiving infusions of islet cells from a donor organ. Some study patients continue to be insulin free for more than a decade post transplant.

However, islet transplantation has been limited to only the most severe cases of diabetes; several challenges still remain before the strategy can be offered to all who can benefit. The existing hurdles to be overcome include the need for  anti-rejection drugs that patients must take for life, the eventual need for  a plentiful supply of insulin-producing cells for transplant, and the identification of  an optimal site within the body to house the new cells. The BioHub is a platform that addresses these challenges by drawing on recent developments in bioengineering, immunology, and decades of transplantation expertise.

Prior to their destruction by the immune system in type 1 diabetes, healthy islets thrive inside the pancreas, where they have sufficient oxygen, adequate space, and all the nutrients needed to perform the demanding job of normalizing blood sugar levels. The BioHub attempts to closely replicate the cells' natural environment and allows scientists to fine tune these cellular needs within the transplant site as never before.

"The progress in islet transplantation has been incremental and has allowed us to get to this important juncture. The BioHub gives us a tool to combine all we've learned through the years of clinical testing and take the next leap forward.  I am confident that this approach could move cellular therapies and biological replacement strategies for the cure of diabetes to our final goal," says Camillo Ricordi , M.D., Stacy Joy Goodman professor of surgery and director of the Diabetes Research Institute.

Among the platforms being tested for a BioHub is a porous, sponge-like material approximately the size of a quarter that is compatible with the human body. Islet cells are gently seeded on this protective platform, allowing cells to nestle within the individual pores. Researchers are also testing the use of more natural containers, such as a patient's own vein, that can be tied off to create a "venous sac" complete with its own pre-existing vascular supply. In addition to housing transplanted insulin-producing cells, a BioHub will also allow scientists to improve upon Mother Nature perhaps by enhancing the immediate transplant environment with additional oxygen, specific types of "helper" cells or other agents to promote the cells' long-term survival and function. Additionally, a BioHub platform can be used to house not just islets, but any future insulin-producing cell type that scientists create.

"The development of a mini organ would mimic the native pancreas and restore the natural metabolic function of insulin release in immediate response to blood sugar levels-something currently unavailable to patients with diabetes," said Jay Skyler , M.D., deputy director of clinical research and academic programs at the DRI.

"If we can identify an optimal place within the body to place a BioHub, then I believe this disease is totally reversible, which has been the DRI's ultimate goal since our inception," adds Luca Inverardi, M.D., deputy director of translational research.

The components that comprise the BioHub are in various stages of development and testing, with pre-clinical trials currently underway. Research on the DRI BioHub platform is supported through numerous sources, including but not limited to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, JDRF, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, National Institutes of Health, NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), University of Miami, pharmaceutical companies, both foreign and domestic, and additional corporate and philanthropic partners. For more information on the development of the BioHub, visit

About the Diabetes Research Institute
The Diabetes Research Institute leads the world in cure-focused research. As the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to shrink the timeline toward the discovery of a biological cure for this disease. 

The DRI has made significant contributions to the field of diabetes, pioneering many of the techniques used in diabetes centers around the world. Having already shown that diabetes can be reversed through islet transplantation, the DRI is building upon these promising outcomes by bridging cell-based therapies with emerging technologies. The DRI also collaborates with other leading researchers worldwide to develop and test new approaches to restore natural insulin production.

The Diabetes Research Institute was created for one reason – to cure diabetes – which is and will continue to be its singular focus until that goal is reached. For the millions of people affected by diabetes, the DRI is the best hope for a cure. For more information, visit

SOURCE Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Lexicon Receives Funding for Phase 2 Clinical Trial of LX4211 in Type 1 Diabetes
2. Lilly Sets Date for Lilly Diabetes Pipeline Update to the Investment Community
3. Islet Sciences Announces Exclusive License Agreement with Yale University to Commercialize an Early Beta Cell Destruction and Diabetes Diagnostic
4. CASiGEN Pharma Receives A World-wide Exclusive License From GIBH To Bring New Potential Diabetes Treatments To The Global Market
5. Lilly Diabetes Presents Phase II Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Data on Investigational GLP-1 Analog Candidate, Dulaglutide, in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes at the 27th American Society of Hypertension Scientific Meeting
6. Valeritas Inc. Selects dLifes New Diabetes Patient Engagement Solution For Valeritas V-go Disposable Insulin Delivery Device
7. Jentadueto® (linagliptin/metformin hydrochloride) tablets recommended for approval in the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes in Europe
8. Janssen Research & Development Submits New Drug Application to U.S. FDA for Canagliflozin to Treat Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
9. JDRF and BD Collaborate to Develop More Accurate and Reliable Glucose Monitoring Devices for People with Type 1 Diabetes
10. Eleven Integrated Health Systems Form Largest Private-Sector Diabetes Registry in United States
11. Lexicon Presents Data Regarding the Mechanism of Action and Safety of LX4211 at American Diabetes Association Meeting
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... BOULDER, Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron ... Annual Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public ... a webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray ... OfficerDate:  , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... New York , 24. November 2015 ... des Avery Breathing Pacemaker Systems, ist erfreut, ... als Clinical Consultant bekannt geben zu können. ...   --> Foto ... Stockholm (Schweden). Von 1984-1986 war ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 Avery Biomedical Devices (ABD), manufacturer ... announce the appointment of Anders Jonzon , MD; ... Dr. Jonzon is a Physiologist ... Hospital, Uppsala University, Uppsala and Children,s Hospital, Karolinska, ... a fellow at the Cardiovascular Institute (UCSF). His research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nairobi (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... African Union Commission (AUC), European Union (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, ... Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) for the opening of the 5th African Network ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Lakeview Health, a Jacksonville-based ... celebrate their sobriety and show through pictures what a positive difference it makes. ... Thanksgiving with the hashtag #FacesOfGratitude on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Crystal Lake, IL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... pleased to announce a recent successful appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto ... the case Adcock v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Beddit® has launched a new Android app for use ... a more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates sleep quality on a 100-point scale and makes ... by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the data to provide an easy to understand ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Today, Mothers Against Drunk Driving ... dropped below 10,000 for the first time since 2011. In 2014, there were 9,967 ... data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,675 people were killed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):