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January 2, 2018

Smart Artificial Beta Cells May Help Treat Diabetes

JAMA. 2018;319(1):11-12. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.12856

In experiments conducted in diabetic mice lacking beta cells, a single injection of artificial beta cells (AβCs) automatically and efficiently controlled blood glucose levels. The cells were able to respond to blood glucose levels rapidly and keep levels normal for up to 5 days. The research, which is published in Nature Chemical Biology, indicates that it may be possible to overcome a major challenge in the design of synthetic therapeutic cells: mimicking beta cell function in vivo to precisely sense the external environment, make internal decisions, and trigger feedback.