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Biotechnol Bioeng. 2018 Dec;115(12):3009-3029. doi: 10.1002/bit.26821. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

Tissue-engineering approaches in pancreatic islet transplantation.

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Unidad de Terapia Celular y Medicina Regenerativa, Servicio de Hematología y Hemoterapia, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA), Oviedo, Spain.
Plataforma de Terapias Avanzadas, Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria del Principado de Asturias (ISPA), Oviedo, Spain.
Departamento de Biología Funcional, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.
Departamento de Morfología y Biología Celular, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain.
Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Pancreatic islet transplantation is a promising alternative to whole-pancreas transplantation as a treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus. This technique has been extensively developed during the past few years, with the main purpose of minimizing the complications arising from the standard protocols used in organ transplantation. By using a variety of strategies used in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, pancreatic islets have been successfully introduced in host patients with different outcomes in terms of islet survival and functionality, as well as the desired normoglycemic control. Here, we describe and discuss those strategies to transplant islets together with different scaffolds, in combination with various cell types and diffusible factors, and always with the aim of reducing host immune response and achieving islet survival, regardless of the site of transplantation.


biomaterials; islet transplantation; tissue engineering; type 1 diabetes


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