The ßAir Bio-artificial Pancreas is a macrocapsule that contains islets of Langerhans, cells from pancreatic regions of the body that contain hormone-producing beta-cells. The macrocapsule provides a fully isolated environment for the islets to thrive. The islets in the bio-artificial pancreas replace the function of the endocrine part of the pancreas; i.e., the sensing of the level of glucose in the blood and the regulation of the production of insulin and glucagon as needed.
Within the macrocapsule, the cells are implanted into a hydrogel structure that provides a comfortable and viable environment for the cells to thrive. Furthermore, this structure provides protection from the body’s immune system. This protection enables those with type 1 diabetes to avoid life-long immunosuppressive therapy, an otherwise absolute must with conventional islet transplantation.
The ßAir bio-artificial pancreas is implanted in a minimally invasive procedure that takes less than an hour. Patients are hospitalized for several days thereafter for observation and then discharged.
The Oxygen-Replenishing Device
The oxygen-replenishing device is used to actively provide the islets of Langerhans within the macrocapsule with an ample amount of oxygen to properly function. Islets of Langerhans are one of the biggest consumers of oxygen in the body.
* CAUTION – Investigational device . Not for sale in Europe or U.S.
“No single event in the history of
medicine had changed the lives of
so many people, so suddenly.”
-Stephen Hume, Biographer of Dr. Sir Frederick Grant Banting (Nobel laureate, the discoverer of insulin)