Anthony Frei, along with graduate students Ying Li, Kaiyuan Jiang, and in collaboration with Dr. Buchwald at UMiami, recently published our findings on the impact of the local release of figolimod, a promising immunomodulatory and pro-angiogenic agent, from macroporous scaffolds on islet survival and function. This manuscript, published in the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, outlines the development of this drug delivery platform with the goal of dampening immune responses to foreign cell grafts. Surprisingly, the local delivery of fingolimod was detrimental to islet survival in preclinical models, with the local presence of figolimod leading to islet death and dysfunction, as well as abnormal immunological responses in vivo. These findings outline the importance of delivery site, as well as the need for extensive screening of agents prior to scaling approaches to larger models.
Congrats to Anthony, Ying and Kaiyuan!