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J Control Release. 2011 Mar 10;150(2):229-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2010.11.011. Epub 2010 Nov 24.

Co-immobilization of urokinase and thrombomodulin on islet surfaces by poly(ethylene glycol)-conjugated phospholipid.

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  • 1Department of Reparative Materials, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, 53 Kawara-Cho, Shogoin, Sakyo-Ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.


Transplantation of islets of Langerhans is a promising method for treating patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The major obstacle in clinical settings is early graft loss due to inflammation triggered by blood coagulation and complement activation on the surface of the islets after intraportal transplantation. We propose a versatile method for modifying the surface of islets with the fibrinolytic enzyme urokinase and the soluble domain of the anticoagulant enzyme thrombomodulin. The surfaces of islets were modified with a poly(ethylene glycol)-phospholipid conjugate bearing a maleimide group (Mal-PEG-lipid; PEG MW = 5000 kDa). The Mal-PEG-lipid anchored to the cell membranes of islets, resulting in the presentation of functional maleimide groups on the islet surface. The surface was further treated with thiolated urokinase and thrombomodulin that conjugated by thiol/maleimide bonding. No practical islet volume increase was observed after surface modification, and the modifications did not impair insulin release in response to glucose stimulation. Furthermore, the activity of the immobilized urokinase and thrombomodulin was maintained. These modifications could help to improve graft survival by preventing thrombus formation on the surface of transplanted islets.

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