Oxygen-permeable microwell device maintains islet mass and integrity during shipping.
Rojas-Canales, D. M., Waibel, M., Forget, A., Penko, D., Nitschke, J., Harding, F., Delalat, B., Blencowe, A., Loudovaris, T., Grey, S. T., Thomas, H., Kay, T., Drogemuller, C., Voelcker, N., Coates, P. T. Endocr. Connect. 2018, EC
Islet transplantation is currently the only minimally invasive therapy available for patients with type 1 diabetes that can lead to insulin independence; however, it is limited to only a small number of patients. Although clinical procedures have improved in the isolation and culture of islets, a large number of islets are still lost in the pre-transplant period, limiting the success of this treatment. Moreover, current practice includes islets being prepared at specialized centers, which are sometimes remote to the transplant location. Thus, a critical point of intervention to maintain the quality and quantity of isolated islets is during transportation between isolation centers and the transplanting hospitals, during which 20-40% of functional islets can be lost. The current study investigated the use of an oxygen-permeable PDMS microwell device for long-distance transportation of isolated islets. We demonstrate that the microwell device protected islets from aggregation during transport, maintaining viability and average islet size during shipping.