Transplantation of Macroencapsulated Insulin-Producing Cells
- Current Diabetes Reports
Authors: Albert J. Hwa, Gordon C. Weir
Publisher: Springer US
Purpose of Review
There is considerable interest in using macroencapsulation devices as a delivery strategy for transplanting insulin-producing cells. This review aims to summarize recent advances, to highlight remaining challenges, and to provide recommendations for the field.
A variety of new device designs have been reported to improve biocompatibility and to provide protection for islet/beta cells from immune destruction while allowing continuous secretion of insulin. Some of these new approaches are in clinical trials, but more research is needed to determine how sufficient beta-cell mass can be transplanted in a clinically applicable device size, and that insulin is secreted with kinetics that will safely provide adequate controls of glucose levels.
Macroencapsulation is a potential solution to transplant beta cells without immunosuppression in diabetes patients, but new strategies must be developed to show that this approach is feasible.