Research ArticleDiabetes

A nanofibrous encapsulation device for safe delivery of insulin-producing cells to treat type 1 diabetes

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Science Translational Medicine  02 Jun 2021:
Vol. 13, Issue 596, eabb4601
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abb4601

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Capitalizing on encapsulation

Encapsulating pancreatic islets or β cells before transplant is a promising approach for type 1 diabetes treatment to avoid administration of systemic immunosuppression. Wang et al. designed electrospun polymer nanofibers with hydrogel cores that could maintain transplanted syngeneic, allogeneic, or xenogeneic islets and β cells upon transplantation into the peritoneal cavity of mice and dogs. The encapsulated cells showed correction of type 1 diabetes for up to 200 days after implantation in mice. The polymer devices could be retrieved with minimal fibrosis, and cells retained viability. This study supports the potential utility of this nanofibrous device as a feasible approach for improving cell-based treatment for diabetes.

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