Buitinga M. - Microwell Scaffold for the Extrahepatic Transplantation of Islets of Langerhans

Mijke Buitinga Roman Truckenmuller, Marten A. Engelse, Lorenzo Moroni, Hetty W. M. Ten
Hoopen, Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, Eelco J.P. de Koning, Aart A. van Apeldoorn, Marcel Karperien

PLOS one 2013


Allogeneic islet transplantation into the liver has the potential to restore normoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes.
However, the suboptimal microenvironment for islets in the liver is likely to be involved in the progressive islet dysfunction
that is often observed post-transplantation. This study validates a novel microwell scaffold platform to be used for the
extrahepatic transplantation of islet of Langerhans. Scaffolds were fabricated from either a thin polymer film or an
electrospun mesh of poly(ethylene oxide terephthalate)-poly(butylene terephthalate) (PEOT/PBT) block copolymer
(composition: 4000PEOT30PBT70) and were imprinted with microwells, ,400 mm in diameter and ,350 mm in depth.
The water contact angle and water uptake were 3962u and 52.164.0 wt%, respectively. The glucose flux through
electrospun scaffolds was three times higher than for thin film scaffolds, indicating enhanced nutrient diffusion. Human
islets cultured in microwell scaffolds for seven days showed insulin release and insulin content comparable to those of freefloating
control islets. Islet morphology and insulin and glucagon expression were maintained during culture in the
microwell scaffolds. Our results indicate that the microwell scaffold platform prevents islet aggregation by confinement of
individual islets in separate microwells, preserves the islet’s native rounded morphology, and provides a protective
environment without impairing islet functionality, making it a promising platform for use in extrahepatic islet