FURI | Spring 2022

Viability and Metabolic Function of INS-1E Cells in Synthetic PEG Hydrogels Suitable to Injection Molding Biofabrication

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Pancreatic islet encapsulation has the potential to reverse Type 1 diabetes by protecting transplanted beta cells from immune-cell destruction while allowing passive diffusion of nutrients through a synthetic non-degradable hydrogel barrier. Strain promoted alkyne-azide cycloaddition (SPAAC) reactions, also called copper-free click chemistry, occur at biological pH and temperature, lack cytotoxic catalysts, and have tunable gelation speeds ranging from 1 to 15 minutes. This research tests the viability and metabolic function of INS-1E cells encapsulated in SPAAC-functionalized PEG hydrogels compared to thiol-maleimide hydrogels, as the slower gelation speed of SPAAC hydrogels are advantageous in generating complex encapsulation geometries that optimize cell viability.

Student researcher

Simone Gohsman

Simone Breanna Gohsman

Biomedical engineering

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Graduation date: Spring 2023