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Dr Alexandra (Sandra) M. Smink

Title: Postdoctoral Researcher

Institute: University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands

Research & Interests: My research focuses on creating an optimal microenvironment under the skin mimicking the native pancreas to improve long-term islet transplantation outcomes. To this end, I created a polymeric scaffold with a biomaterial that does not negatively impact islet function, facilitates quick revascularization, and allows adequate glucose sensing and insulin release. Transplantation of islets into this subcutaneous device has shown success in rodents and pigs. This approach will promote long-term functional islet survival and thereby leads to more widespread application of transplantation of insulin-producing cells and ultimately improves the quality of life of patients with type 1 diabetes.