Optimization of Islet Microencapsulation with Thin Polymer Membranes for Long-Term Stability

Micromachines (Basel). 2019 Nov 6;10(11):755. doi: 10.3390/mi10110755.


Microencapsulation of islets can protect against immune reactions from the host immune system after transplantation. However, sufficient numbers of islets cannot be transplanted due to the increase of the size and total volume. Therefore, thin and stable polymer membranes are required for the microencapsulation. Here, we undertook the cell microencapsulation using poly(ethylene glycol)-conjugated phospholipid (PEG-lipid) and layer-by-layer membrane of multiple-arm PEG. In order to examine the membrane stability, we used different molecular weights of 4-arm PEG (10k, 20k and 40k)-Mal to examine the influence on the polymer membrane stability. We found that the polymer membrane made of 4-arm PEG(40k)-Mal showed the highest stability on the cell surface. Also, the polymer membrane did not disturb the insulin secretion from beta cells.

Keywords: bioartificial pancreas; cell surface modification; islet transplantation; microencapsulation; polyethylene glycol-lipid (PEG-lipid).