Design of Membrane-Based Bioartificial Organs

  • Frank T. Gentile
  • Edward J. Doherty
  • Rebecca H. Li
  • David H. Rein
  • Dwaine F. Emerich


The goal of encapsulated cell therapy research is to develop implants containing living xenogeneic cells to treat serious and disabling human conditions. The concept is straightforward: cells or small clusters of tissue are surrounded by a selective membrane barrier which admits oxygen and required metabolites, releases bioactive cell secretions but restricts the transport of the larger cytotoxic agents of the body’s immune defense system. Use of a selective membrane both eliminates the need for chronic immuno-suppression in the host and allows cells to be obtained from non-human sources, thus avoiding the cell-sourcing constraints which have limited the clinical application of generally successful investigative trials of unencapsulated cell transplantation for chronic pain1, Parkinson’s disease2, and type I diabetes.3–5 Cross-species immunoisolated cell therapy has been validated in small and large animal models of chronic pain6,7, Parkinson’s disease8,9, and Type 1 diabetes10–12, and is under active investigation by several groups in animal models of Huntington’s13, ALS14 and Alzheimer’s15–19. In addition, the first encapsulated therapy using xenografts in humans has been performed in chronic nain20 and ALS21.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Mass Transfer Coefficient Hollow Fiber Cholinergic Neuron Sherwood Number 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank T. Gentile
    • 1
  • Edward J. Doherty
    • 1
  • Rebecca H. Li
    • 1
  • David H. Rein
    • 1
  • Dwaine F. Emerich
    • 1
  1. 1.CytoTherapeutics, Inc.ProvidenceUSA

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