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Adv Healthc Mater. 2019 Jun;8(12):e1900423. doi: 10.1002/adhm.201900423. Epub 2019 May 21.

Interconnected Toroidal Hydrogels for Islet Encapsulation.

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Riley Robb Hall 322, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA.


Islet encapsulation and transplantation promises to improve upon current treatments for type 1 diabetes mellitus, though several limitations remain. Macroscale devices have been designed for in vivo transplantation and retrieval, but traditional geometries do not support clinically adequate mass transfer of nutrients to and insulin from the encapsulated tissue. Microcapsule technologies have improved mass transfer properties, but their clinical translation remains challenging as their complete retrieval is difficult, should the graft become a safety concern. Here, the design, characterization and testing of a novel encapsulation structure, comprised of elastomer-reinforced interconnected toroidal hydrogels is reported. These donut-shaped hydrogels feature a high surface area, higher than conventional spherical capsules of the same volume, bestowing suitable mass transport conditions, while allowing interconnection and reversible deformation for intraperitoneal implantation and retrieval. Diabetes correction up to 12 weeks and complete retrieval is achieved in a diabetic mouse model, providing a proof-of-concept for the potential application as a type 1 diabetes cell replacement therapy.


3D printing; diabetes; islet encapsulation; torus


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