A new VANGUARD article has recently been published in Current Opinion in Endocrine and Metabolic Research. “Advances and challenges of endocrine pancreas bioengineering” – Islet transplantation is a valid treatment option for type 1 diabetes patients. Despite the advantages of this intervention, many obstacles limit its efficacy such as the loss of islets during the process and the need for lifelong immunosuppression. This mini-review discusses the advances and recent technologies aiming to improve the outcomes of islet transplantation. The full article can be read here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coemr.2022.100320
β-cell replacement via islet transplantation (IT) is a viable option for the management of patients with type 1 diabetes. Despite good functional results, IT remains limited by the lack of donors, poor revascularization, loss of islets due to inflammation and hypoxia, and the need for lifelong immunosuppression. In this review, we present the recent advances in the field of tissue engineering proposed to overcome these obstacles. The most promising technologies include the use of stem cell-derived β-cells, accessory cells, scaffolds, encapsulation methods, prevascularization techniques as well as alternative transplantation sites. With the ultimate goal of the generation of neovascularized, immune-protected implantable constructs loaded with insulin-secreting cells, these technologies present a promising future for the field.