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October 26, 2021 8:57 am
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Technion Biomed Engineers Assess Novel Approach to Treating Type 2 Diabetes

avatar by JNS.org

A diabetes patient testing their blood sugar level. Photo: Reversing Your Diabetes Today via Wikicommons.

JNS.org – A novel approach to treating Type 2 diabetes is being developed at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.

The disease, caused by insulin resistance and the reduction of cells’ ability to absorb sugar, is characterized by increased blood-sugar levels. Its long-term complications include heart disease, strokes, damage to the retina that can result in blindness, kidney failure and poor blood flow in the limbs that may lead to amputations.

It is currently treated by a combination of lifestyle changes, medication and insulin injections, but ultimately is associated with a 10-year reduction in life expectancy.

Ph.D. student Rita Beckerman from the Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory in the Technion’s Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, who conducted the research with professor Shulamit Levenberg, presented a novel treatment approach, using an autograft of muscle cells engineered to take in sugar at increased rates. Mice treated in this manner displayed normal blood sugar levels for months after a single procedure.

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