Mesenchymal Stem Cells as Companions for MIN6 Pseudoislets within 3D PEG Hydrogel Scaffolds
Tugba Bal1, Erdal Karaoz2, Seda Kizilel1
1Chemical and Biological Engineering, Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey
2Liv Hospital, Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and Manufacturing, Istanbul, Turkey
In this study, bulk encapsulation of insulin-producing tumor cells (MIN6 cells) and mesenchymal stem cells within 3D PEG hydrogels has been investigated. MIN6 cells have been aggregated to form pseudoislets, where native islet morphology was obtained. Strong correlation between the cell number and pseudoislet size was obtained. 3D PEG hydrogel scaffolds functionalized with adhesion peptides and/or insulinotropic peptide permit pseudoislets to respond to changes in glucose concentration by producing insulin with a dose-response that is substantially higher than that of pseudoislets in control groups. Incorporation of stem cells into 3D scaffolds further contributed to insulin secretion function. Cell survival for the cells within hydrogels was also monitored, and no significant changes were observed in the amount of intracellular ATP content between altered groups. This study is significant to demonstrate a new approach for tailoring the biomimetic environments to improve insulin secretion function, and that encapsulation of pancreatic islets and stem cells may have the characteristics required for the treatment of Type I diabetes with cell therapy.