Warning: this technique has only been tried with mice so far
Scientists at the University of California San Francisco have developed a new method to minimize the likelihood that a person’s body will reject stem cells during a transplant. Using the CRISPR gene editing tools, the scientists managed to create stem cells that are effectively invisible to the body’s immune system.
The process is done by using the powerful and occasionally controversial CRISPR technology to delete two genes, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and II, that would typically signal to the immune system that a cell is foreign. The scientists then added CD47, a cell protein that essentially tells the immune system not to destroy a cell.
We all look at Beta cell transplants with cynicism because of the need for immuno-suppressants. At the same time, the “City of Hope” process is the only one I have ever found that shows some success at suppressing the need for exogenous insulin. The present research project shows, for me, very interesting potential, at least in the direction it is opening.
[EDIT] Here is the UCSF press release that has significantly more detail. I should have providing this link earlier:
Here is the study abstract for the published paper. But the full paper is not available that I can find.