Biocompatible Encapsulation of Living Cells and Tissues

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Type 1 diabetes affects approximately two million people in the United States alone. The disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body's immune system destroys the pancreatic islet beta cells, sufficiently stopping the production of insulin. Current therapies can only treat the disease instead of cure it. Insulin therapy requires lifelong injections of insulin every day and does not prevent against chronic complications. A pancreas transplant requires life-long immunosuppression therapy, and current islet transplantations offer an initial success, but drops off with time. Other challenges associated with islet transplantation include cadaveric donor islet availability and a loss of islets in the immediate post-transplant period because of innate immune responses.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed sol-gel encapsulation techniques to optimize the sustainability of islet transplantation treatment. Using this technique, the researchers are able to encapsulate cells enabling immunoisolation, vascularization, and long-term survival of the transplanted islets that can reinstate insulin production, leading to normal glucose control in type 1 diabetes patients. Studies with encapsulated pancreatic beta cells show glucose flux oscillation similar to uncoated pancreatic beta cells. Purdue researchers are collaborating with scientists at the Indiana School of Medicine and performing in vivo studies of the encapsulated islets on diabetic research mice.

Advantages:
-Sol-gel encapsulated islet cells are isolated from the innate immune response
-Islet cell transplantation would give type 1 diabetes patients a long-term treatment option
-Preliminary studies in vitro and in vivo show cells maintain viability and function after encapsulation

Potential Applications:
-Medical/Healthcare
-Pharmaceuticals
Jan 20, 2012
Utility Patent
United States
9,677,065
Jun 13, 2017

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Jul 21, 2009
Provisional-Patent
United States
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Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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