Encapsulation and Transplantation of Pancreatic Progenitor Cells

  • Luke Carroll
  • Auvro R. Mridha
  • Bernard E. TuchEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2029)


Type 1 diabetes, characterized by autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells, affects 41 million people worldwide. Beta cell replacement therapies have immense potential as a treatment option because pancreatic progenitors derived from human pluripotent stem cells can provide a near limitless supply of transplantable tissue. The key limitation of this approach is the need for lifelong use of immunosuppressive drugs that have undesirable side effects. Microencapsulation is an option for providing protection for transplanted cells from mechanical stress and immune attack. Traditionally, pluripotent cells are differentiated on a 2D matrix before being transferred into an immunoisolation device. Here, we describe a method of differentiating pluripotent stem cells into pancreatic progenitors while the cells are encapsulated in alginate microspheres. This method provides several advantages including the need for fewer steps compared to the traditional approach, protection against mechanical/physical damage during differentiation in bioreactors, and immune-protection of cells once transplanted into the host.

Key words

Differentiation Pancreatic progenitors Alginate Encapsulation 



Thank you Dr. Michael Morris for assisting in the preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke Carroll
    • 1
  • Auvro R. Mridha
    • 1
  • Bernard E. Tuch
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Medical Sciences, Discipline PhysiologyThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Foundation for Diabetes ResearchMaroubraAustralia

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