The incorporation of water-soluble gel matrix into bile acid-based microcapsules for the delivery of viable ß-cells of the pancreas, in diabetes treatment: biocompatibility and functionality studies.
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In recent studies, we microencapsulated pancreatic β-cells using sodium alginate (SA) and poly-L-ornithine (PLO) and the bile acid, ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), and tested the morphology and cell viability post-microencapsulation. Cell viability was low probably due to limited strength of the microcapsules. This study aimed to assess a β-cell delivery system which consists of UDCA-based microcapsules incorporated with water-soluble gel matrix. The polyelectrolytes, water-soluble gel (WSG), polystyrenic sulphate (PSS), PLO and polyallylamine (PAA) at ratios 4:1:1:2.5 with or without 4 % UDCA, were incorporated into our microcapsules, and cell viability, metabolic profile, cell functionality, insulin production, levels of inflammation, microcapsule morphology, cellular distribution, UDCA partitioning, biocompatibility, thermal and chemical stabilities and the microencapsulation efficiency were examined. The incorporation of UDCA with PSS, PAA and WSG enhanced cell viability per microcapsule (p < 0.05), cellular metabolic profile (p < 0.01) and insulin production (p < 0.01); reduced the inflammatory release TNF-α (p < 0.01), INF-gamma (p < 0.01) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) (p < 0.01); and ceased the production of IL-1β. UDCA, PSS, PAA and WSG addition did not change the microencapsulation efficiency and resulted in biocompatible microcapsules. Our designed microcapsules showed good morphology and desirable insulin production, cell functionality and reduced inflammatory profile suggesting potential applications in diabetes.
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