Therapeutic approaches to combat type 1 diabetes (T1D) include donor pancreas transplantation, exogenous insulin administration and immunosuppressive therapies. However, these clinical applications are limited due to insufficient tissue compatible donors, side effects of exogenous insulin administration and/or increased onset of opportunistic infections attributable to induced global immunosuppression. An alternative approach to alleviate disease states is to utilize insulin-producing pancreatic islets seeded in a bioscaffold for implantation into diabetic recipients. The present studies now report that a newly developed cationic polymer biomaterial serves as an efficient bioscaffold for delivery of donor syngeneic pancreatic islet cells to reverse hyperglycemia in murine streptozotocin induced- or non-obese diabetic mouse models of T1D. Intraperitoneal implantation of pancreatic islets seeded within the copolymer bioscaffold supports long-term cell viability, response to extracellular signaling cues and ability to produce soluble factors into the microenvironment. Elevated insulin levels were measured in recipient diabetic mice upon implantation of the islet-seeded biomaterial coupled with reduced blood glucose levels, collectively resulting in increased survival and stabilization of metabolic indices. Importantly, the implanted islet-seeded biomaterial assembled into a solid organoid substructure that reorganized the extracellular matrix compartment and recruited endothelial progenitors for neovascularization. This allowed survival of the graft long-term in vivo and access to the blood for monitoring glucose levels. These results highlight the novelty, simplicity and effectiveness of this biomaterial for tissue regeneration and in vivo restoration of organ functions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded, in part, by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (SC1GM127207), Department of Defense (W911NF-14-1-0123) and National Science Foundation (grant #1428768).
© 2020, The Author(s).