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Generally, the team led by Rachel Seiça focused on improving the biological properties of these devices, and so the team developed a microcapsule in which the insulin-producing cells are enclosed in a polymer matrix of alginate hydrogels, a natural polymer modified with a substance, one peptide present in the extracellular matrix (RGD), thus mimicking the cellular microenvironment in vivo which allowed the team to increase the viability and functionality of the encapsulated and transplanted cells.
The results of experiments conducted first in vitro (cell lines) and later in vivo (transplantation of the microcapsules in diabetic mice) were very promising.
"An increase in cell viability and insulin production was observed in vitro, and, in diabetic animals, improved levels of blood glucose and of insulin resistance,"
"However, there is still a long way to go. It is necessary to reduce the microcapsule size, make it even more stable, more viable and more functioning to be transplanted in humans," explains Raquel Seiça. -