Polymeric Materials for Perm-Selective Coating of Alginate Microbeads
Methods in molecular biology, January 2017
William F. Kendall Jr. M.D., Emmanuel C. Opara, William F. Kendall
Emmanuel C. Opara
Application of microencapsulation to the immunoisolation of pancreatic islets holds promise for expanding the use of islet transplantation as a treatment option for Type 1 diabetes. It is generally believed that successful development of a reliable methodology will ideally allow for transplantation of pancreatic islets that are protected from the immune system, thereby obviating the need for the use of immunosuppressive drugs and their attendant side effects. In addition, this technology has the potential to expand the donor pool as islets from nonhuman donors could be used as xenografts in human patients. The complex polysaccharide, alginate, has been the most widely used polymer for microencapsulation of islets. However, it is known that alginate lacks appreciable permselectivity to confer immunoisolation of encapsulated islets, thus necessitating the routine permselective coating of alginate microbeads with polymers of amino acids, mainly, poly-L-lysine (PLL) and poly-L-ornithine (PLO). The protocol described in this chapter outlines the steps we have used in our studies on perm-selective coating of alginate microbeads for islet transplantation.
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