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Engineering Bioactive Materials for Islet Transplantation

Wyss EventLecture

A closed loop, glucose sensing, and insulin responsive system could dramatically improve treatment options for insulin dependent diabetics. Clinical islet transplantation, the intrahepatic loading of allogeneic islets, shows the potential to provide this intimate control, by transplanting the very cells with this inherent glucose sensing/insulin secreting capacity.

The success of clinical islet transplantation is hindered by the location of the implant site, which is prone to mechanical stresses, inflammatory responses, and exposure to high drug and toxin loads, as well as the strong inflammatory and immunological response to the transplant in spite of systemic immunosuppression.

Please join Dr. Cherie Stabler as she discusses her work to address these challenges. Her approach is focused on three primary strategies: the development of scaffolds to house islets at alternative transplant sites; the fabrication of encapsulation protocols for the immuno-camouflage of the transplant; and the production of bioactive biomaterials for the local delivery of oxygen and immunomodulatory drugs and/or cells. Success in these strategies should increase the efficacy of islet transplantation for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes, whereby the long-term survival and engraftment of the transplanted islets are significantly improved.

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