3D Printed Scaffold vs Immunosuppressive Meds

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Dr. Aart van Apeldoorn and colleagues at the University of Twente, are suggesting that a 3D printed alginate-gelatin scaffold could protect transplanted islet cells from the recipient’s immune system and prevent the need for immunosuppressive therapy.

Islet cell transplantation has been used to treat Type 1 diabetes, however challenges remain with this type of transplant and recipients, as with other organ transplants, are dependent on immunsuppressive therapies for the rest of their lives.

Alignate droplets for encapsuling islets to create a immunoprotective barrier, are already being used by many research groups. The addition of gelatin does not interfere with this principle and allows for a 3D macroporous structure to be printed, according to van Apeldoorn.

If the scaffolds can remain stable over long periods of time, they could prevent the migration of the transplanted cells and keep them safe from the hosts immune system.

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