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Treating Diabetes

A team of researchers led by CSU received a $1.69 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to improve treatment of type-2 diabetes. The effort will use innovative human tissue modeling to better assess potential non-invasive therapies that could improve quality of life for patients.

“Type-2 diabetes (T2D) is a metabolic disease that involves the gastrointestinal tract, liver and pancreas. It is associated with chronic inflammation, insulin resistance in the liver, and impaired glucose storage, which over time can be deadly,” notes Moo-Yeal Lee, associate professor of chemical and biomedical engineering and leader of the research team. “The most effective treatment today for T2D is gastric bypass surgery, which is invasive, expensive and can cause numerous health complications. Non-surgical therapies have significant potential to reduce risks and improve overall quality of life for patients.”

Dr. Lee’s team has developed robotic, high-precision, 3D bio-printing technology which allows for the generation of testable human tissues in a laboratory environment. The team will utilize liver, pancreas and intestine tissues derived from human stem cells to simulate the normal mechanisms involved in inter-organ “crosstalk” and investigate how hormones, nutrients and drugs might mediate the reversal of T2D. The work builds on a previous NIH R01 grant Dr. Lee received to develop the 3D bio-printing system. Other key investigators in the project include Drs. James Wells and Takanori Takebe from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Dr. Eben Alsberg from Case Western Reserve University. 

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