Cell replacement therapy is emerging as a promising treatment platform for many endocrine disorders and hormone deficiency diseases. The survival of cells within delivery devices is, however, often limited due to low oxygen levels in common transplantation sites. Additionally, replacing implanted devices at the end of the graft lifetime is often unfeasible and, where possible, generally requires invasive surgical procedures. Here, the design and testing of a modular transcutaneous biphasic (BP) cell delivery device that provides enhanced and unlimited oxygen supply by direct contact with the atmosphere is presented. Critically, the cell delivery unit is demountable from the fixed components of the device, allowing for surgery‐free refilling of the therapeutic cells. Mass transfer studies show significantly improved performance of the BP device in comparison to subcutaneous controls. The device is also tested for islet encapsulation in an immunocompetent diabetes rodent model. Robust cell survival and diabetes correction is observed following a rat‐to‐mouse xenograft. Lastly, nonsurgical cell refilling is demonstrated in dogs. These studies show the feasibility of this novel device for cell replacement therapies.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.