You are here

Transforming skin cells to insulin



Researches are one step closer to curing diabetes by making insulin-producing cells from skin cells. A team at the University of Bergen (Norway) has transformed skin puncture cells from diabetes patients into insulin producing cells, using stem cell techniques.

The researchers’ aim is to transplant these cells under the skin of people with diabetes. 

“This study is a step towards discovering how ‘stand-in’ cells can secrete insulin in the body,” said Helge Ræder, M.D., Ph.D., leader of the stem cell node at the university’s K.G. Jebsen Centre for Diabetes Research.

In the long run, the researchers´ goal is to replace insulin shots and blood sugar measurements with insulin-secreting cells capable of automatically secreting insulin in response to the blood sugar level. This can become possible by implanting a capsule with tailor made cells in each diabetes patient. 

“Our study is a step further in the spare part or regenerative medicine, where a lot may go wrong but where a successful approach may cure diabetes,” Dr. Ræder said.

Learn more:
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-04979-w