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ACS Nano. 2015 Jun 23;9(6):5675-82. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.5b00679. Epub 2015 May 14.

Polycaprolactone Thin-Film Micro- and Nanoporous Cell-Encapsulation Devices.

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∥Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue HSE520 Box 0780, San Francisco, California 94143, United States.


Cell-encapsulating devices can play an important role in advancing the types of tissue available for transplantation and further improving transplant success rates. To have an effective device, encapsulated cells must remain viable, respond to external stimulus, and be protected from immune responses, and the device itself must elicit a minimal foreign body response. To address these challenges, we developed a micro- and a nanoporous thin-film cell encapsulation device from polycaprolactone (PCL), a material previously used in FDA-approved biomedical devices. The thin-film device construct allows long-term bioluminescent transfer imaging, which can be used for monitoring cell viability and device tracking. The ability to tune the microporous and nanoporous membrane allows selective protection from immune cell invasion and cytokine-mediated cell death in vitro, all while maintaining typical cell function, as demonstrated by encapsulated cells' insulin production in response to glucose stimulation. To demonstrate the ability to track, visualize, and monitor the viability of cells encapsulated in implanted thin-film devices, we encapsulated and implanted luciferase-positive MIN6 cells in allogeneic mouse models for up to 90 days. Lack of foreign body response in combination with rapid neovascularization around the device shows promise in using this technology for cell encapsulation. These devices can help elucidate the metrics required for cell encapsulation success and direct future immune-isolation therapies.


cell-encapsulation; immunoisolation; microporous; nanoporous; polycaprolactone

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