Localized Drug Delivery
An additional aspect of functionalization of our macroporous scaffold platform is in the incorporation of anti-inflammatory or immunomodulatory agents for the purpose of long-term, localized release. In this approach, we hope to decrease the overall drug load to the patient, reduce the side effects associated with systemic immunosuppression, and enhance the efficacy of the agent. In this approach, the PDMS platform is highly desirable, as its hydrophobic nature provides ease in the incorporation, and slow release, of many common hydrophobic agents. Current results have demonstrated tailored release rates of anti-inflammatories via the surface to volume ratio of the construct. Release of this agent has been observed long term. We are now expanding our regimen of reagents to include other anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents. Furthermore, we are manipulating the geometry of the implant to evaluate how the spatial characteristics of the implant affect immunoprotection. Overall, we seek to develop novel platforms that will minimize the overall drug load to the patient and enhance efficacy of protection.
Efforts in this area are currently being supported by the JDRF project: “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.