Construction of a safe and functional bioartificial pancreas (BAP) that provides an adequate environment for islet cells may be an important approach to treating diabetic patients. Various types of BAP devices have been developed, but most of them involve extravascular implantation of islets in microcapsules or diffusion chambers. These devices have poor diffusive exchange between the islets and blood, and often rupture. To overcome these problems, we developed a new type of BAP composed of polyethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVAL) hollow fibers that are permeable to glucose and insulin and a poly-amino-urethane-coated, non-woven polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) fabric that allows cell adhesion. Porcine islets attached to the surface of the PTFE fabric, but not to the surface of the EVAL hollow fibers, allowing nutrient and oxygen exchange between blood flowing inside the fibers and cells outside. We inoculated this BAP with porcine islets and connected it to the circulation of totally pancreatectomized diabetic pigs. We found that blood glucose levels were reduced to a normal range and general health was improved, resulting in longer survival times. In addition, regulation of insulin secretion from the BAP was properly controlled in response to glucose both in vitro and in vivo. These results indicate that our newly developed BAP may be a potential therapy for the treatment of diabetes in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology