Engineering Site for Islet Transplantation

DRI_Day Two_hi res_047 lowEngineering of ideal transplant sites for cell transplantation through the use of bioactive materials is a major focus of our laboratory, specifically the combination of biomaterials and active agents to generate a favorable site for islet or beta cell transplantation. Engineered biomaterial scaffolds, like the one shown above, can create optimal sites for housing islets. With a focus on enhancing oxygenation and vascularization, as well as local immunomodulation, to the engraftment site of islets, we have developed several platform technologies:

  1. Macro-porous scaffolds
  2. OxySite – Oxygen Generating Biomaterial
  3. Localized Drug Delivery
  4. Immunomodulatory Biomaterials

Efforts in this area are currently being supported by the JDRF and the Leona M. and Harry S. Helmsley Charitable Trust by projects: “Engineered Bioactive Hydrogel Macrodevices for Islet Transplantation: Engineering an Optimal Site for Islet Transplantation”, a collaborative project with Drs Camillo Ricordi, Luca Inverardi, Rodolfo Alejandro, Alice Tomei, and Dora Berman-Weinberg.

“Development of an Extrahepatic Site for Beta Cell Replacement without Continuous, Systemic Immunosuppression”, a collaborative project with Dr. Andres Garcia

“New islet encapsulation method for ideal mass transport and immunoprotection”, a project in collaboration with Dr. Aart Von Apeldoorn