Tissue Engineering and Diabetes: Engineering alternative sites and immuno-camouflage

Date(s) - 04/12/2010
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Dr. Cherie Stabler, Assistant Prof, Univ of Miami

Clinical islet transplantation (CIT), the intraportal infusion of allogeneic pancreatic islets into a diabetic recipient, is a promising treatment for type 1 diabetes; however, the success of clinical islet transplantation is hindered by the location of the implant site, which is prone to mechanical stresses, inflammatory responses, exposure to high drug and toxin loads, and the strong inflammatory and immunological response to the transplant in spite of systemic immunosuppression.  In our laboratory, we are focused on three primary strategies to improve CIT: the development of scaffolds to house islets at alternative transplant sites; the fabrication of nano-scale encapsulation protocols for the immuno-camouflage of the transplant; and the development of novel biomaterials for the local delivery of immunomodulatory drugs and/or cells.  This talk will highlight our recent efforts in these areas.