Modification of Synthetic Hydrogel Chemistry to Generate Complex Macroencapsulation Device Geometries
Islet cell replacement via transplantation is a promising therapy to restore blood glucose regulation in patients afflicted by type 1 diabetes mellitus, but is limited by the need for multiple donor pancreata due to rapid graft destruction and immune rejection. This research tests the viability of alternatively functionalized poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) macromers for a synthetic hydrogel macrodevice with a slower gelation rate, thereby enabling fabrication of complex geometries. These geometries would encapsulate islet cells while enhancing vascularization, cytocompatibility, permeability, and oxygenation. This would improve graft survival and restore euglycemia.