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NIH Funds $400,000 IUPUI Biomedical Engineering Grant, Type 1 Diabetes Implications

Chien-Chi Lin, Ph.D.
Chien-Chi Lin, Ph.D.

Published:

December 13, 2011

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The National Institutes of Health have recently awarded biomedical researchers at IUPUI’s Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis approximately $400,000 to study a synthetic hydrogel matrix that could potentially trigger both cell proliferation and differentiation. This cutting-edge technique could have significant implications for individuals suffering from Type I Diabetes, as well as bone, cartilage and other cell deficiencies.

“Individuals with Type I Diabetes, for instance, lack the cells that create insulin to regulate blood sugar levels,” explains Dr. Chien-Chi Lin, IUPUI assistant professor and lead researcher on the project. “We’re conducting research on hydrogel matrices that could be used to generate large quantities of insulin-producing cells for transplantation into the body to treat Type I Diabetes. A solution like this could one day provide ample supply of donor tissues and eliminate the need for insulin shots.”

No biomaterial system currently exists that can accomplish, in a sequential manner, cell reproduction and differentiation into another cell type. That’s why the NIH has chosen this nationally-renowned biomedical engineering team that draws from elite Purdue engineering faculty and biomedical researchers from around the country – as well as the expertise and resources of its premier medical neighbor, IU Health – to conduct this important translational research.

“The goal of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at NIH is to enable technological innovation and discoveries in healthcare,” said Dr. William Heetderks, NIBIB Associate Director. “Dr. Lin is developing a novel biomaterial to enhance the proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells into insulin-producing cells which could impact the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes and improve the health of millions.”

To learn more, visit www.engr.iupui.edu or engr.iupui.edu/bme/lin/Lin_Research_Group.

About the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI: The mission of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI is to be one of the best urban university leaders in the disciplines of engineering and technology recognized locally, nationally and internationally. The school’s goal is to provide students an education that will give them the leverage to be leaders in their communities, industry and society. For additional information on the School of Engineering & Technology, go to http://www.engr.iupui.edu.