Teflon is not normally associated with diabetes management. Widely known as a chemical used to coat non-stick frying pans, Teflon is now being used to cover a tiny implant that contains insulin-producing cells . Diabetes scientists are hoping that the invention could overcome previous cell treatments for diabetes .
The non-stick surface of the Teflon stops the immune system from attacking the foreign tissue, and the donor cells are well hidden from the defence system of the body. The transplanted cells can therefore produce insulin without disturbance, which could eliminate insulin injections for type 1 diabetics .
The Teflon covering protects against T-cells – assassins employed by the immune system to destroy intruders. Professor Itkin-Ansari of University of California, San Diego, reportedly commented: “We thought that T-cells, although unable to penetrate the implant, would at least cluster round it. But we found no evidence of an active immune response. It suggests the cells in the device were invisible to the immune system.’

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