An artificial pancreas consisting of beta cells cultured on synthetic semipermeable hollow fibers was tested in rats with alloxan-induced diabetes. When implanted ex vivo as arteriovenous shunts in the circulatory system these devices lowered concentrations of plasma glucose from 533 to between 110 and 130 milligrams per 100 milliliters, increased concentrations of plasma insulin, and restored intravenous glucose tolerance tests essentially to normal.