Project description:Tissue-engineered devices have the potential to significantly improve human health. A major impediment to the success of clinically scaled transplants, however, is insufficient oxygen transport, which leads to extensive cell death and dysfunction. To provide in situ supplementation of oxygen within a cellular implant, we developed a hydrolytically reactive oxygen generating material in the form of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) encapsulated solid calcium peroxide, termed OxySite. Herein, we demonstrate, for the first time, the successful implementation of this in situ oxygen-generating biomaterial to support elevated cellular function and efficacy of macroencapsulation devices for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Under extreme hypoxic conditions, devices supplemented with OxySite exhibited substantially elevated beta cell and islet viability and function. Furthermore, the inclusion of OxySite within implanted macrodevices resulted in the significant improvement of graft efficacy and insulin production in a diabetic rodent model. Translating to human islets at elevated loading densities further validated the advantages of this material. This simple biomaterial-based approach for delivering a localized and controllable oxygen supply provides a broad and impactful platform for improving the therapeutic efficacy of cell-based approaches.
Project description:Embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived ? cells hold the promise of providing a renewable source of tissue for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes. Encapsulation may allow ESC-derived ? cells to be transplanted without immunosuppression, thus enabling wider application of this therapy.In this study, we investigated the immunogenicity of mouse pancreatic progenitor cells and efficacy of a new macroencapsulation device in protecting these cells against alloimmune and autoimmune responses in mouse models.Mouse pancreatic progenitor cells activated the indirect but not the direct pathway of alloimmune response and were promptly rejected in immune competent hosts. The new macroencapsulation device abolished T cell activation induced by allogeneic splenocytes and protected allogeneic MIN6 ? cells and pancreatic progenitors from rejection even in presensitized recipients. In addition, the device was effective in protecting MIN6 cells in spontaneously diabetic nonobese diabetic recipients against both alloimmune and recurring autoimmune responses.Our results demonstrate that macroencapsulation can effectively prevent immune sensing and rejection of allogeneic pancreatic progenitor cells in fully sensitized and autoimmune hosts.
Project description:Allogeneic islet transplantation into the liver in combination with immune suppressive drug therapy is widely regarded as a potential cure for type 1 diabetes. However, the intrahepatic system is suboptimal as the concentration of drugs and nutrients there is higher compared to pancreas, which negatively affects islet function. Islet encapsulation within semipermeable membranes is a promising strategy that allows for the islet transplantation outside the suboptimal liver portal system and provides environment, where islets can perform their endocrine function. In this study, we develop a macroencapsulation device based on thin microwell membranes. The islets are seeded in separate microwells to avoid aggregation, whereas the membrane porosity is tailored to achieve sufficient transport of nutrients, glucose and insulin. The non-degradable, microwell membranes are composed of poly (ether sulfone)/polyvinylpyrrolidone and manufactured via phase separation micro molding. Our results show that the device prevents aggregation and preserves the islet's native morphology. Moreover, the encapsulated islets maintain their glucose responsiveness and function after 7 days of culture (stimulation index above 2 for high glucose stimulation), demonstrating the potential of this novel device for islet transplantation.
Project description:Islet transplantation effectively treats diabetes but relies on immune suppression and is practically limited by the number of cadaveric islets available. An alternative cellular source is insulin-producing cells derived from pluripotent cell sources. Three animal cohorts were used in the current study to evaluate whether an oxygen-providing macro-encapsulation device, '?AIR', could function in conjunction with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and their derivatives. The first cohort received macro-encapsulated undifferentiated hESCs, a second cohort received hESCs differentiated to a pancreatic progenitor state with limited endocrine differentiation. A reference cohort received human islets. Macro-encapsulation devices were implanted subcutaneously and monitored for up to 4 months. Undifferentiated pluripotent stem cells did not form teratoma but underwent cell death following implantation. Human C-peptide (hC- peptide) was detectable in host serum one week after implantation for both other cohorts. hC-peptide levels decreasing over time but remained detectable up to the end of the study. Key factors associated with mature endocrine cells were observed in grafts recovered from cohorts containing islets and hESC-derivatives including C-peptide, insulin, glucagon and urocortin 3. We conclude that the '?AIR' macroencapsulation device is compatible with both human islets and pluripotent derivatives, but has a limited capability of sustaining undifferentiated pluripotent cells.
Project description:The PEC-01 cell population, differentiated from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), contains pancreatic progenitors (PPs) that, when loaded into macroencapsulation devices (to produce the VC-01 candidate product) and transplanted into mice, can mature into glucose-responsive insulin-secreting cells and other pancreatic endocrine cells involved in glucose metabolism. We modified the protocol for making PEC-01 cells such that 73%-80% of the cell population consisted of PDX1-positive (PDX1+) and NKX6.1+ PPs. The PPs were further differentiated to islet-like cells (ICs) that reproducibly contained 73%-89% endocrine cells, of which approximately 40%-50% expressed insulin. A large fraction of these insulin-positive cells were single hormone-positive and expressed the transcription factors PDX1 and NKX6.1. To preclude a significant contribution of progenitors to the in vivo function of ICs, we used a simple enrichment process to remove remaining PPs, yielding aggregates that contained 93%-98% endocrine cells and 1%-3% progenitors. Enriched ICs, when encapsulated and implanted into mice, functioned similarly to the VC-01 candidate product, demonstrating conclusively that in vitro-produced hESC-derived insulin-producing cells can mature and function in vivo in devices. A scaled version of our suspension culture was used, and the endocrine aggregates could be cryopreserved and retain functionality. Although ICs expressed multiple important β cell genes, the cells contained relatively low levels of several maturity-associated markers. Correlating with this, the time to function of ICs was similar to PEC-01 cells, indicating that ICs required cell-autonomous maturation after delivery in vivo, which would occur concurrently with graft integration into the host.Type 1 diabetes (T1D) affects approximately 1.25 million people in the U.S. alone and is deadly if not managed with insulin injections. This paper describes the production of insulin-producing cells in vitro and a new protocol for producing the cells, representing another potential cell source for a diabetes cell therapy. These cells can be loaded into a protective device that is implanted under the skin. The device is designed to protect the cells from immune rejection by the implant recipient. The implant can engraft and respond to glucose by secreting insulin, thus potentially replacing the β cells lost in patients with T1D.
Project description:Immunoisolation of pancreatic islets is a technology in which islets are encapsulated in semipermeable but immunoprotective polymeric membranes. The technology allows for successful transplantation of insulin-producing cells in the absence of immunosuppression. Different approaches of immunoisolation are currently under development. These approaches involve intravascular devices that are connected to the bloodstream and extravascular devices that can be distinguished in micro- and macrocapsules and are usually implanted in the peritoneal cavity or under the skin. The technology has been subject of intense fundamental research in the past decade. It has co-evolved with novel replenishable cell sources for cure of diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus that need to be protected for the host immune system. Although the devices have shown significant success in animal models and even in human safety studies most technologies still suffer from undesired tissue responses in the host. Here we review the past and current approaches to modulate and reduce tissue responses against extravascular cell-containing micro- and macrocapsules with a focus on rational choices for polymer (combinations). Choices for polymers but also choices for crosslinking agents that induce more stable and biocompatible capsules are discussed. Combining beneficial properties of molecules in diblock polymers or application of these molecules or other anti-biofouling molecules have been reviewed. Emerging are also the principles of polymer brushes that prevent protein and cell-adhesion. Recently also immunomodulating biomaterials that bind to specific immune receptors have entered the field. Several natural and synthetic polymers and even combinations of these polymers have demonstrated significant improvement in outcomes of encapsulated grafts. Adequate polymeric surface properties have been shown to be essential but how the surface should be composed to avoid host responses remains to be identified. Current insight is that optimal biocompatible devices can be created which raises optimism that immunoisolating devices can be created that allows for long term survival of encapsulated replenishable insulin-producing cell sources for treatment of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.
Project description:The development of immune protective islet encapsulation devices could allow for islet transplantation in the absence of immunosuppression. However, the immune protective membrane / barrier introduced there could also impose limitations in transport of oxygen and nutrients to the encapsulated cells resulting to limited islet viability. In the last years, it is well understood that achieving prevascularization of the device in vitro could facilitate its connection to the host vasculature after implantation, and therefore could provide sufficient blood supply and oxygenation to the encapsulated islets. However, the microvascular networks created in vitro need to mimic well the highly organized vasculature of the native tissue. In earlier study, we developed a functional macroencapsulation device consisting of two polyethersulfone/polyvinylpyrrolidone (PES/PVP) membranes, where a bottom microwell membrane provides good separation of encapsulated islets and the top flat membrane acts as a lid. In this work, we investigate the possibility of creating early microvascular networks on the lid of this device by combining novel membrane microfabrication with co-culture of human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) and fibroblasts. We create thin porous microstructured PES/PVP membranes with solid and intermittent line-patterns and investigate the effect of cell alignment and cell interconnectivity as a first step towards the development of a stable prevascularized layer in vitro. Our results show that, in contrast to non-patterned membranes where HUVECs form unorganized HUVEC branch-like structures, for the micropatterned membranes, we can achieve cell alignment and the co-culture of HUVECs on a monolayer of fibroblasts attached on the membranes with intermittent line-pattern allows for the creation of HUVEC branch-like structures over the membrane surface. This important step towards creating early microvascular networks was achieved without the addition of hydrogels, often used in angiogenesis assays, as gels could block the pores of the membrane and limit the transport properties of the islet encapsulation device.
Project description:Macroencapsulation devices provide the dual possibility of immunoprotecting transplanted cells while also being retrievable, the latter bearing importance for safety in future trials with stem cell-derived cells. However, macroencapsulation entails a problem with oxygen supply to the encapsulated cells. The ?Air device solves this with an incorporated refillable oxygen tank. This phase 1 study evaluated the safety and efficacy of implanting the ?Air device containing allogeneic human pancreatic islets into patients with type 1 diabetes. Four patients were transplanted with 1-2 ?Air devices, each containing 155 000-180 000 islet equivalents (ie, 1800-4600 islet equivalents per kg body weight), and monitored for 3-6 months, followed by the recovery of devices. Implantation of the ?Air device was safe and successfully prevented immunization and rejection of the transplanted tissue. However, although beta cells survived in the device, only minute levels of circulating C-peptide were observed with no impact on metabolic control. Fibrotic tissue with immune cells was formed in capsule surroundings. Recovered devices displayed a blunted glucose-stimulated insulin response, and amyloid formation in the endocrine tissue. We conclude that the ?Air device is safe and can support survival of allogeneic islets for several months, although the function of the transplanted cells was limited (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02064309).