Placing a BioHub Within the Body
Currently, islet cells are transplanted into the liver.
But for several reasons, the liver is not an optimal environment. So, DRI scientists and our collaborators worldwide are testing other sites for a BioHub.
One that holds particular promise is the abdomen, specifically the omentum, an apron‐like tissue that covers the abdomen. Researchers are
creating an abdominal “pouch” by folding over a small section of this tissue. This pouch is rich in blood vessels and may provide a safer and more suitable site.
One of the great advantages of the BioHub is that researchers will know precisely where the islets are placed. This will allow them to retrieve the BioHub, if necessary, to add more islet cells and/or nutrients, protective agents and growth factors.
DRI researchers are focusing on the omentum, the inside lining of the abdomen, as an alternative transplant site. The omentum helps to protect internal organs and is rich with blood vessels.