Islet transplantation on extracellular matrix (ECM) protein-modified biodegradable microporous poly(lactide-co-glycolide) scaffolds is a potential curative treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Collagen IV-modified scaffolds, relative to control scaffolds, significantly decreased the time required to restore euglycemia from 17 to 3 days. We investigated the processes by which collagen IV-modified scaffolds enhanced islet function and mediated early restoration of euglycemia post-transplantation. We characterized the effect of collagen IV-modified scaffolds on islet survival, metabolism, and insulin secretion in vitro and early- and intermediate-term islet mass and vascular density post-transplantation and correlated these with early restoration of euglycemia in a syngeneic mouse model. Control scaffolds maintained native islet morphologies and architectures as well as collagen IV-modified scaffolds in vivo. The islet size and vascular density increased, while β-cell proliferation decreased from day 16 to 113 post-transplantation. Collagen IV-modified scaffolds promoted islet cell viability and decreased early-stage apoptosis in islet cells in vitro - phenomena that coincided with enhanced islet metabolic function and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. These findings suggest that collagen IV-modified scaffolds promote the early restoration of euglycemia post-transplantation by enhancing islet metabolism and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. These studies of ECM proteins, in particular collagen IV, and islet function provide key insights for the engineering of a microenvironment that would serve as a platform for enhancing islet transplantation as a viable clinical therapy for T1DM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering