Anti-Inflammatory Conformal Barriers for Cell Transplantation
Coatings that protect islet cells during transplantation for the treatment of Type I diabetes.
- Ability to control permeability characteristics of shape conforming barrier coating.
- Application to genetically engineered cells, neurons, cardiac myoblasts, myocardial cells, chondrocytes, dopamine secreting cells, or other cell types intended for cell therapy.
A major obstacle in islet cell transplantation to treat insulin insufficiency in Type 1 diabetics is a high rate of primary nonfunction and early islet destruction after intraportal islet infusion. Dr. Chaikof and colleagues have developed compositions and methods to protect islet cells against destruction by generating an encapsulation barrier composed of multiple layers directly onto the surface of the cells. Advantages of using a conformal coating include reduced cell diameter leading to a decreased risk of thrombosis upon injection into the portal vein, more efficient exchange of oxygen and nutrients, and improved immunoisolation achieved by structurally mimicking the capacity of the cell membrane to limit non-specific cell-cell interactions and control interfacial transport processes. Immunomodulatory proteins including anti-inflammatory and/or anti-coagulant agents can be incorporated into the conformal cell barrier to further reduce the host immune response and increase the biocompatibility of the cells, ultimately reducing the number of islet cells needed per transplant patient and limiting the need for successive islet infusions.
Developmental Stage & Potential Market
- The methods of coating islet cells for transplantation have been reduced to practice.
- Diabetes affects approximately 170 million people worldwide and is increasing, with the WHO predicting 300 million diabetics by 2025. Islet cell transplantation is an emerging treatment option that offers the potential of eliminating the need for life-long insulin therapy.