Quantitative Assessment of Islets of Langerhans Encapsulated in Alginate
Author(s)Johnson, Amy S.; O'Sullivan, Esther; D'Aoust, Laura N.; Omer, Abdulkadir; Bonner-Weir, Susan; Fisher, Robert J.; Weir, Gordon C.; Colton, Clark K.; ... Show more Show less
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Improved methods have recently been developed for assessing islet viability and quantity in human islet preparations for transplantation, and these measurements have proven useful for predicting transplantation outcome. The objectives of this study were to adapt these methods for use with microencapsulated islets, to verify that they provide meaningful quantitative measurements, and to test them with two model systems: (1) barium alginate and (2) barium alginate containing a 70% (w/v) perfluorocarbon (PFC) emulsion, which presents challenges to use of these assays and is of interest in its own right as a means for reducing oxygen supply limitations to encapsulated tissue. Mitochondrial function was assessed by oxygen consumption rate measurements, and the analysis of data was modified to account for the increased solubility of oxygen in the PFC-alginate capsules. Capsules were dissolved and tissue recovered for nuclei counting to measure the number of cells. Capsule volume was determined from alginate or PFC content and used to normalize measurements. After low oxygen culture for 2 days, islets in normal alginate lost substantial viable tissue and displayed necrotic cores, whereas most of the original oxygen consumption rate was recovered with PFC alginate, and little necrosis was observed. All nuclei were recovered with normal alginate, but some nuclei from nonrespiring cells were lost with PFC alginate. Biocompatibility tests revealed toxicity at the islet periphery associated with the lipid emulsion used to provide surfactants during the emulsification process. We conclude that these new assay methods can be applied to islets encapsulated in materials as complex as PFC-alginate. Measurements made with these materials revealed that enhancement of oxygen permeability of the encapsulating material with a concentrated PFC emulsion improves survival of encapsulated islets under hypoxic conditions, but reformulation of the PFC emulsion is needed to reduce toxicity.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemical Engineering
Tissue Engineering. Part C, Methods
Mary Ann Liebert
Johnson, Amy S. et al. “Quantitative Assessment of Islets of Langerhans Encapsulated in Alginate.” Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 17 (4) (2011): 435-449. Copyright © 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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