The use of macro-porous scaffolds, made from poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), is a platform developed in our laboratory to permit retrievability of the scaffold post-transplantation. We have explored the potential of these scaffolds within clinically relevant sites in pre-clinical models. Collectively, these results are promising in that they indicate the potential for transplanting islets into a clinically relevant, extrahepatic site that provides spatial distribution of islets, retrievability, and intra-device vascularization. We are now seeking to translate these promising results to the clinic. With the fabrication of a strong platform for housing cells, particularly islets, we then sought to explore how we may use this platform to interact and instruct the host response.
Our recent reviews on this topic:
Engineering immunomodulatory biomaterials for type 1 diabetes, published in Nature Reviews Materials
Executive summary of IPITA-TTS opinion leaders report on the future of β-cell replacement published in Transplantation
Engineering a local microenvironment for pancreatic islet replacement published in Current Opinion in Biotechnology
Learn more about scaffolds and the importance of selecting the appropriate implant site here.
Learn more about scaffolds and the work we are doing to translate them to the clinic here.
Efforts in this area are currently being supported by the JDRF