Development of a Bioartificial Pancreas and Use of Hydrogels for the Treatment of Diabetic Complications
(Brey, Karuri, Opara, Papavasiliou, Perez-Luna, Teymour)
Islet cell encapsulation. Successful development of a bioartificial pancreas through islet cell encapsulation and transplantation offers a potential cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Hemodynamic Regulation of Vascular Cell Function and Thrombosis Prevention
(DePaola, Hall, Turitto)
Thrombosis is a major complication associated with islet transplantation even in successful cases of the procedure. It has recently been reported that isolated islets produce tissue factor that triggers an adverse clotting event that is the instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction seen in clinical islet transplantation.
Research on hemodynamic regulation of vascular cell function in early atherosclerosis, gap junctional intercellular communication, and biophysical regulation of mammalian cell function have important impact on vascular and bone tissue engineering
Blood Vessel Formation and Wound Healing
(Brey, Cinar, Karuri, Papavasiliou)
Use of biopolymers (hydrogels) for wound healing has tremendous potential for the treatment of diabetic ulcers. Disruption of cell membranes is a major cause of tissue necrosis, which is associated with ischemia-reperfusion injuries. Guided blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) has a strong impact in the speed of wound healing. The interaction of endothelial cells with biofunctional gradient hydrogels will result in maximal endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis.
Education Tools and Software
Patients with Type 1 diabetes have to plan and regulate their food intake, exercise, and insulin injection/infusion. Patients with Type 2 diabetes and people with obesity need to plan their food intake and physical activities. Two Web-based software, GlucoSim and FoodFit, provide user-friendly educational tools that illustrate dynamic variations in blood glucose concentration and assess daily food intake and activity.
Nutrition and Behavior Modification
(Burton-Freeman, Cinar, Sher)
Good nutrition and behavior modification play critical roles in prevention of obesity, and improving the daily lives of patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy is a major complication of diabetes and the biggest cause of blindness. The goal of the research is to investigate the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a neural modulator from normal and diabetic retinas by using electrophysiological recordings and quantitative signal analysis and by integrating retinal blood flow and retinal cellular function studies.
Modeling the Effects of Fatty Acids on Glucose Absorption and Utilization in Muscle Cells
Free fatty acids (FFA) in blood play important roles in muscle, heart, liver, and pancreas. Elevated FFA concentrations cause insulin resistance in liver and muscles. Elevated FFA and intracellular lipid concentration are the primary suspects for inhibiting insulin signaling, causing reduction in insulin-translocation, and suppression of glucose transport.
Research at IIT in neurobiology and electrophysiology provide immense opportunity to study diabetic neuropathy. The focus at IIT is on a quantitative approach toward understanding neuronal physiology using both conventional and novel experimental techniques at the cellular and systems levels.
Stem Cell Based Therapies for Patients With Type 1 Diabetes
(Brey, Opara, Wang, Xiang)
The use of stem cells to regenerate functional pancreatic β cells has been considered an appealing therapeutic model for Type I diabetes patients who lack the ability to produce enough insulin.
Renal Disease and Injury
Research on the effects of blood pressure (BP) and transfer functions in the kidneys, on BP transmission and hypertensive renal injury, and on renal disease patients with arterialvenous fistulas.