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J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2012 May;100(4):1017-28. doi: 10.1002/jbm.b.32667. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

Reversal of diabetes by βTC3 cells encapsulated in alginate beads generated by emulsion and internal gelation.

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Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Encapsulation of insulin-producing cells in alginate beads could improve the treatment of type 1 diabetes by reducing or eliminating the need for immunosuppression. We have recently adapted an emulsion and internal gelation process to β-cell encapsulation. This process has the advantages of being well suited for m(3)/h production rates and allowing the use of increased alginate concentrations. Compared with 1.5% alginate beads generated by a standard extrusion process, 5% alginate emulsion-generated beads demonstrated greater in vitro stability and greater volumetric exclusion of antibody-sized pullulan. When βTC3 cells were transplanted into streptozotocin-induced allogeneic diabetic mice, a significant decrease in the blood glucose levels was seen within 2 days with the 5% emulsion-generated beads but not until >16 days with the 1.5% extrusion-generated beads. This was correlated with higher cell survival and lower graft-specific plasma immunoglobulin levels. These results suggest that higher-concentration alginate beads generated by emulsion and internal gelation have improved graft immunoprotection. The emulsion process is a promising and scalable technology for cellular therapies requiring immune isolation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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