Development of an Intrinsic Skin Sensor for Blood Glucose Level with CRISPR-mediated Genome Editing in Epidermal Stem Cells

From Development of an Intrinsic Skin Sensor for Blood Glucose Level with CRISPR-mediated Genome Editing in Epidermal Stem Cells | bioRxiv

Biointegrated sensors can address various challenges in medicine by transmitting a wide variety of biological signals. A tempting possibility that has not been explored before is whether we can take advantage of genome editing technology to transform a small portion of endogenous tissue into an intrinsic and long-lasting sensor of physiological signals. The human skin and epidermal stem cells have several unique advantages, making them particularly suitable for genetic engineering and applications in vivo. In this report, we took advantage of a novel platform for manipulation and transplantation of epidermal stem cells, and presented the key evidence that genome-edited skin stem cells can be exploited for continuous monitoring of blood glucose level in vivo. Additionally, by advanced design of genome editing, we developed an autologous skin graft that can sense glucose level and deliver therapeutic proteins for diabetes treatment. Our results revealed the clinical potential for skin somatic gene therapy.