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Biotechnol Lett. 2013 Dec;35(12):2185-91. doi: 10.1007/s10529-013-1300-9. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Separation of empty microcapsules after microencapsulation of porcine neonatal islets.

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School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, 151-742, Korea,


Pancreatic islet transplantation is used to treat diabetes mellitus that has minimal complications and avoids hypoglycemic shock. Conformal microencapsulation of pancreatic islets improves their function by blocking immunogenic molecules while protecting fragile islets. However, production of empty alginate capsules during microencapsulation causes enlargement of the transplantation volume of the encapsulated islets and interferes with efficient transfer of nutrients and insulin. In this study, empty alginate capsules were separated after microencapsulation of neonatal porcine islet-like cell clusters (NPCC) using density-gradient centrifugation. Densities of NPCC and alginate capsules were determined using Percoll. Encapsulation products following alginate removal were 97 % of products, with less than 10 % of the capsules remaining empty. The viability of this process compared with manually-selected encapsulated islets indicates the separation process does not harm islets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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