MIT, Harvard professors discuss research en route to artificial pancreas

MIT's Daniel Anderson recently discussed the future of beta cell replacement technology with Dr. Gordon Weir of Harvard Medical School. "There are two major hurdles with beta cell replacement, one is the supply of beta cells and the other is the need to protect these cells from being killed by the immune system," Weir said. "We are interested in creating a membrane for nutrients and oxygen to flow in and insulin to get out and small enough for t-cells not to get to the beta cells." Their research has applications to the development of an artificial pancreas, a long-sought goal being pursued by companies like Semma Therapeutics, which earned the financial backing of bigwigs Medtronic ($MDT) and Novartis ($NVS) back in March. More