Multilayer nanoencapsulation. new approach for immune protection of human pancreatic islets

Silke Krol, Silvia Del Guerra, Maria Grupillo, Alberto Diaspro, Alessandra Gliozzi, Piero Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immune protection of artificial tissue by means of pancreatic islet microencapsulation is a very ambitious new approach to avoid life-long immune suppression. But the success in the utilization of the alginate-beads with incorporated islets is unfortunately limited. Some of the problems cannot be solved by a two-component system, so polymer encapsulation of the microbeads was tested to improve the properties. In the present paper a pure nanoencapsulation multilayer approach was tested in order to reduce the size of the capsule and possibly apply in the future a multilayer capsule with individual properties in each layer or region of the capsule. Different polycations were attached in a self-assembly process. The advantage in using the surface charge of islets as binding site for the polyions is the guarantee of complete coverage after the second layer. Release of insulin was determined to characterize the function of the islets after encapsulation as well as the permeability of the capsule. Fluorescence microscopy was used to visualize the polyelectrolyte layers. Finally by means of an immune assay, the protection capability of the capsule was proved. In these first measurements the encapsulation with a multilayer nanocapsule was shown to be a possible alternative to the more space-consuming and random islet-trapping microencapsulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1933-1939
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


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