ABSTRACT: Transplantation of islets into the portal vein of diabetic patients has emerged as a promising procedure for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. However, shortages of donors and adverse effects leading to graft impairment and/or rejection have prevented this procedure from achieving widespread clinical application. The aim of this study was to develop a method that could support the survival and function of transplanted islets using a prevascularized tissue engineering chamber. Islets were transplanted into tissue engineering chambers established on the epigastric pedicle in the groin of diabetic mice. Islets were transplanted at the time of chamber implantation or with 21 days prevascularization of the chamber. Transplantation of islets into prevascularized chambers into diabetic RIP-K(b) mice resulted in a significant reduction in blood glucose levels that became evident in the third week and improved glycemic control as measured by a glucose tolerance test. This study highlights that islet survival and function are potentiated by allowing a period of prevascularization within tissue engineering chambers before islet transplantation. This novel prevascularized chamber may be an improved method of islet transplantation. It can be easily accessed for islet seeding, easily retrieved, and transplanted to alternative anatomical sites by microvascular methods.
Tissue Engineering Part A 07/2009; 15(12):3823-33. · 4.64 Impact Factor