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Tunable injectable alginate-based hydrogel for cell therapy in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Espona-Noguera, Albert, Ciriza, Jesús, Cañibano-Hernández, Alberto, Fernandez, Luis, Ochoa, Ignacio, Saenz del Burgo, Laura, Pedraz, Jose Luis
International journal of biological macromolecules 2017
alginates, biobased products, biocompatibility, gelation, hydrogels, immune system, immunosuppression, insulin, patients, phosphates, porosity, rats, therapeutics, toxicity
Islet transplantation has the potential of reestablishing naturally-regulated insulin production in Type 1 diabetic patients. Nevertheless, this procedure is limited due to the low islet survival after transplantation and the lifelong immunosuppression to avoid rejection. Islet embedding within a biocompatible matrix provides mechanical protection and a physical barrier against the immune system thus, increasing islet survival. Alginate is the preferred biomaterial used for embedding insulin-producing cells because of its biocompatibility, low toxicity and ease of gelation. However, alginate gelation is poorly controlled, affecting its physicochemical properties as an injectable biomaterial. Including different concentrations of the phosphate salt Na2HPO4 in alginate hydrogels, we can modulate their gelation time, tuning their physicochemical properties like stiffness and porosity while maintaining an appropriate injectability. Moreover, these hydrogels showed good biocompatibility when embedding a rat insulinoma cell line, especially at low Na2HPO4 concentrations, indicating that these hydrogels have potential as injectable biomaterials for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus treatment.