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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

In vitro test of new biomaterials for the development of a bioartificial pancreas.

The implantation of macroencapsulated islets has the potential to restore endogenous insulin secretion in type 1 diabetics, with no need for lifetime immunosuppression. To match the physiological fluctuations of blood glucose concentrations with appropriate insulin release, the macroencapsulation material must combine immunoprotection with optimal diffusion properties for glucose and insulin. The impact of chemical modifications of polysulphone (PSU) capillary polymers with a cutoff of 50 kD on glucose-induced insulin secretion of macroencapsulated rat islets was studied in perifusion experiments. The insulin release of free-floating islets showed the typical rapid response to glucose stimulation. Total insulin release (AUC between minute 30 and 120 of perifusion) reached 117+/-22 ng/ml. Blending PSU with polyvinylpyrrolidone or sodium-dodecyl-sulfate was not suitable for islet macroencapsulation, since glucose-induced insulin release was absent or disturbed. Hydroxy-methylation (CH2OH) of PSU improved the secretory behavior of macroencapsulated islets depending on the degree of PSU substitution (DS 0.8, AUC 62+/-15 ng/ml; DS 1.8, 111+/-24 ng/ml). In highly substituted PSU-capillaries the kinetics of glucose-induced insulin release was very similar to that observed in free-floating islets. Two consecutive glucose stimulations potentiated insulin release of free-floating islets during the second period of stimulation. Furthermore, freshly isolated macroencapsulated islets responded with more efficient insulin secretion after the initial priming. In conclusion, in vitro membrane screening identified highly substituted hydroxy-methylated PSU as the material of choice for islet encapsulation in a bioartificial pancreas.[1]


  1. In vitro test of new biomaterials for the development of a bioartificial pancreas. Lembert, N., Petersen, P., Wesche, J., Zschocke, P., Enderle, A., Doser, M., Planck, H., Becker, H.D., Ammon, H.P. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. (2001) [Pubmed]
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