3D Visualization Of The Pancreas Is A New Tool In Diabetes Research

Posted: Mar 15 2017, 1:13pm CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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3D Visualization of the Pancreas is a New Tool in Diabetes Research
The three-dimensional visualization, created with OPT, shows the pancreas of a healthy mouse. The individual pancreatic islets have been color-coded and their exact volume and 3-D-coordinates can be precisely determined throughout the pancreas. The exocrine pancreatic tissue (in grey) has partly been digitally removed. Credit: Ulf Ahlgren
  • A Novel Tool of Diabetes Research: 3D Image of the Pancreas

A novel tool of diabetes research that may cure the disease in the future is a 3D image of the pancreas which is the latest thing on the scene.

A 3D visualization of the Islets of Langerhans which produce insulin in the organ known as the pancreas has been constructed by the Umeå University scientists. This is a bulwark in the fight against diabetes (whatever form it may take).

Insulin is a very important hormone that regulates the blood glucose levels in conjunction with another hormone which is known as glucagon. Diabetes occurs when either the insulin levels are topsy turvy in the body or resistance to insulin occurs among the tissues.

The Islets of Langerhans produce insulin and they are strewn throughout the length and breadth of the pancreas. Their quantity and distribution are what matter in the end.

Up until now, cross sections of the pancreas have been used in the analysis of diabetes symptomatology. The two dimensional data has just been supplanted recently by 3D images which have brought a new focus on diabetes research.

The procedure is termed OPT (optical projection tomography) and it scans a 3D visual dataset of the pancreas and its islets.

This process involves a CT scan but the difference is that instead of X-rays, it uses light rays as a substitute. As a potent tool for diabetes research, this novel technique called OPT may just lead to non-invasive diabetic treatment in future times.

The 3D images of the pancreas of healthy and obese mice at various ages were taken for analysis. The pancreas was shown to be an organ which was not homogeneous in its consistency. Changes in the Islets of Langerhans were responsible for type 2 diabetes.

Also certain mutations were shown to be responsible for the diabetic status of the obese mice. This knowledge will come in handy in the long term future to overcome this disease which is also known as a “sweet sickness”.

The Umeå University researchers published their datasets in the Nature Research journal Scientific Data.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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