Master assignment - Induction of Vascularization for extrahepatic Islet transplantation

Induction of Vascularization for extrahepatic Islet transplantation

Although transplantation of islets of Langerhans has proven to be an effective treatment, more than 60% of the islets are lost immediately after transplantation. In addition, the life-long use of immunosuppressive drugs by patients treated with islet transplantation is associated with numerous complications. Developing a new islet encapsulation method to overcome the need for immunosuppressive drugs and to improve islet transplantation for type 1 Diabetes patients could lead to a better transplant outcome. The lack of adequate vascularization in the immediate period after transplantation is a key factor in the cause of cell death during this phase. It is known that vascularization can be enhanced by the combined implantation of scaffolds and cells. Examples of frequently used cell types are: mesenchymal stromal cells and HUVECs. Additionally, surface structures on the scaffolds help the cells to align and therefore aid vascularization. Therefore, in this project the focus lies on finding the most optimal parameters for vascularization.

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Project Goals:

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Fabrication of membranes with different surface structures

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Casting of membranes using phase separation micro molding method

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Characterization of these membranes

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Scanning electron microscopy images

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Permeability experiments

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Optimize cell attachment (use of coating)

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Cell culture

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Coating of membranes, check the effect on membrane characteristics

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Test effect of membranes on cell viability

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In vivo experiments

Contact:

Katarzyna Skrzypek (k.skrzypek@utwente.nl)

Milou Groot Nibbelink (m.grootnibbelink@utwente.nl)