Type 1 diabetes and engineering enhanced islet transplantation

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2022 Oct:189:114481. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2022.114481. Epub 2022 Aug 21.


The development of new therapeutic approaches to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) relies on the precise understanding and deciphering of insulin-secreting β-cell biology, as well as the mechanisms responsible for their autoimmune destruction. β-cell or islet transplantation is viewed as a potential long-term therapy for the millions of patients with diabetes. To advance the field of insulin-secreting cell transplantation, two main research areas are currently investigated by the scientific community: (1) the identification of the developmental pathways that drive the differentiation of stem cells into insulin-producing cells, providing an inexhaustible source of cells; and (2) transplantation strategies and engineered transplants to provide protection and enhance the functionality of transplanted cells. In this review, we discuss the biology of pancreatic β-cells, pathology of T1D and current state of β-cell differentiation. We give a comprehensive view and discuss the different possibilities to engineer enhanced insulin-secreting cell/islet transplantation from a translational perspective.

Keywords: Biomaterials; Cell and tissue engineering; Cell therapies; Implantation devices; Islet biology.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells*
  • Insulins* / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*


  • Insulin
  • Insulins