UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Comparison of MIN6 cell aggregate formation methods and shear resistance Kocyigit, Muzaffer Cagri


Islet transplantation has the potential to cure type 1 diabetes, thereby avoiding the need for a lifetime of daily insulin injections. However, to protect the islet transplant from the recipients host immune system currently requires lifelong immunosuppression. Alginate gel microencapsulation is one of the biological envelopes being developed as a physical barrier to block rejection by the recipient immune system. When using emulsification for cell encapsulation, aggregates of cells are exposed to high shear stresses that can impact their recovery. This study has investigated the aggregation of MIN6 cells to develop a model system for insulin producing beta-cells. Two aggregation methods were investigated, either using a shaking agitation system or a static multi-well system without shaking. MIN6 cell aggregates generated by both methods were analyzed for their recovery after exposure to shear stresses. A disaggregation method was introduced to examine the cellular viability of the component cells in aggregates and the cells remained viable within aggregates. Finally, the aggregates were encapsulated using 1.5% (w/v) or 5% (w/v) alginate. The 5% alginate yielded higher encapsulation efficiencies and a more spherical structure with a narrower size distribution of capsule diameters, and so should be the more suitable choice for the further development of large-scale encapsulation production processing.

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