Delivering Low-Dose Drugs at the Transplant Site
When islet cells are transplanted into a patient, that patient’s immune system sees the cells as “foreign” and wants to reject them. So, transplant recipients must take powerful anti‐rejection drugs -- also called immunosuppressants – for life. This immunosuppressive regimen shuts down the entire immune system, putting patients at risk for many harmful side effects.
So, rather than suppressing the entire immune system, the DRI is investigating how to deliver anti‐rejection drugs locally – only at the site of the transplant, within a BioHub. Researchers are developing and testing a process that will deliver time‐released, low-dose drugs to minimize the initial immune response, as well as any inflammatory effects that can also harm the cells.
The local delivery of low‐dose anti‐rejection drugs within a BioHub offers the potential to eliminate the current systemic drugs that pose significant risks to patients.
Learn more about the development of the BioHub mini organ to restore natural insulin production in those living with diabetes.
Watch the BioHub video>>
DRI scientists are pursuing several strategies for local drug delivery within a BioHub.