Emerging strategies for beta cell transplantation to treat diabetes

Jesus Paez-Mayorga, Izeia Lukin, Dwaine Emerich, Paul de Vos, Gorka Orive, Alessandro Grattoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Beta cell replacement has emerged as an attractive therapeutic alternative to traditional exogenous insulin administration for management of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Beta cells deliver insulin dynamically based on individual glycometabolic requirements, providing glycemic control while significantly reducing patient burden. Although transplantation into the portal circulation is clinically available, poor engraftment, low cell survival, and immune rejection have sparked investigation of alternative strategies for beta cell transplantation. In this review, we focus on current micro- and macroencapsulation technologies for beta cell transplantation and evaluate their advantages and challenges. Specifically, we comment on recent methods to ameliorate graft hypoxia including enhanced vascularization, reduction of pericapsular fibrotic overgrowth (PFO), and oxygen supplementation. We also discuss emerging beta cell-sourcing strategies to overcome donor shortage and provide insight into potential approaches to address outstanding challenges in the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Microencapsulation
  • immune rejection
  • immunoisolation
  • macroencapsulation
  • pancreatic islets
  • vascularization
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/surgery
  • Humans
  • Insulin/metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation/methods
  • Islets of Langerhans/metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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