Animal research and diabetes

24 June 2011

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Category: Communications & media

UAR–interview–chloe–rackham–diabetes.jpgIn this film we hear from Chloe, who has diabetes, and Dr Aileen King, who researches into diabetes.

Diabetes is a common life-long health condition. There are 2.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and an estimated 850,000 people who have the condition but don't know it (Diabetes UK).

Research on dogs led to the discovery of insulin in the 1920s. Before this discovery, developing type 1 diabetes led to death. See our page on insulin and diabetes. Now Aileen's research with mice is looking for the best way to transplant insulin producing cells from donors to diabetic people. While cell transplants have been done in people, immunosuppressants are needed to make sure the transplanted cells are not rejected.

In Aileen's work the cells are encapsulated in a gel to protect them from the immune cells after the transplant.