Conformal coating by multilayer nano-encapsulation for the protection of human pancreatic islets: In-vitro and in-vivo studies

Farooq Syed, Marco Bugliani, Michela Novelli, Francesco Olimpico, Mara Suleiman, Lorella Marselli, Ugo Boggi, Franco Filipponi, Vittoria Raffa, Silke Krol, Daniela Campani, Pellegrino Masiello, Vincenzo De Tata, Piero Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To improve the efficiency of pancreatic islet transplantation, we performed in-vitro and in-vivo experiments with isolated human pancreatic islets coated by multi-layer nano-encapsulation using differently charged polymers [chitosan and poly(sodium styrene sulfonate)] to obtain up to 9 layers. The islet coating (thickness: 104.2 ± 4.2 nm) was uniform, with ≥ 90% cell viability and well preserved beta- and alpha-cell ultrastructure. Nano-encapsulated islets maintained physiological glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by both static incubation and perifusion studies. Notably, palmitate- or cytokine-induced toxicity was significantly reduced in nano-coated islets. Xenotransplantation of nano-encapsulated islets under the kidney capsule of streptozotocin-induced C57Bl/6J diabetic mice allowed long term normal or near normal glycemia, associated with minimal infiltration of immune cell into the grafts, well preserved islet morphology and signs of re-vascularization. In summary, the multi-layer nano-encapsulation approach described in the present study provides a promising tool to effectively protect human islets both in-vitro and in-vivo conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2191-2203
Number of pages13
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Diabetes
  • Human islets
  • Immune isolation
  • Islets transplantation
  • Multilayer nanoencapsulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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