Immunobarriers for Pancreatic Islet Transplantation
March 29-30, 2004
SummaryA workshop entitled “Immunobarriers for Pancreatic Islet Transplantation” was convened in Washington, DC, on March 30-31, 2004, to review the state of the art in barrier material for tissue immunoisolation with the emphasis on pancreatic islet transplantation and other cell therapies for the treatment of diabetes. The workshop was sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, and was chaired by Dr. Michael Lysaght of Brown University. Participants were invited from academia and industry, and included biomedical engineers, immunobiologists, cell biologists, diabetologists, and transplant surgeons. The meeting was organized to provide a forum for exchange of the most recent data and the latest insights and perspectives on the biomaterial components of what is commonly termed “the bioartificial pancreas”. It was strongly felt that a high priority should be placed on research into immunobarriers for pancreatic islet transplantation, and that a successful strategy would greatly enhance the clinical outcome. The meeting served to identify opportunities and barriers to progress Chief among these was the need for a clearer understanding of the mechanisms of both rejection and survival of encapsulated tissue, and less emphasis upon show-and-tell survival experiments in relatively compliant rodent models. Interdisciplinary teams with strong capabilities in islet-cell biology, membrane transport, biomaterials, immunology, etc., are required to achieve success in this field.
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