TAILORED ELASTIN-LIKE RECOMBINAMERS AS ADVANCED SYSTEMS FOR CELL THERAPIES IN DIABETES MELLITUS
The GENERAL OBJECTIVE of this project is the development of a novel and breakthrough immunoisolation and scaffolding systems based on multibiofunctional elastin-like recombinamers (ELRs) for long-term and efficient pancreatic islet and human induced pluripotential stem cells (hiPSCs) transplantation for Diabetes Mellitus (DM) treatment. This objective is materialized in the fabrication of multibiofunctional capsules that are able to efficienciently inmmunoisolate their content but, on the other hand, are able to promote the complete biointegration and fusion of the capsule and its content in the host surrounding tissues. To do so, special attention will be paid to the cell-material interaction on both, the inner and outer surface of the capsule so the capsule will mimic a “normal” extracellular matrix for both, the cell cargo and the surrounding tissues. In this way, such cellular cargo will be still kept isolated from the immune rejection system but, biomechanically integrated and fused with the host tissues. The cell cargo inside the capsule will be able to sense the biomechanical signaling, in addition to other biological signaling, as a way to assure an adequate connection to its surroundings. Ideally, this must lead to substantially increased chances of long-term survival and functioning of the implant.
To successfully develop these breakthrough paradigm, new encapsulating multi(biofunctional) materials with advanced properties and tailor-designed, as well as novel encapsulation technologies, will be used for the first time in the field of DM cell therapies. The selection of biomaterials and encapsulating techniques proposed in this project are a based on a multi-strategy and cross-disciplinary approach, addressing the challenges appearing both at the implant-surrounding tissue interface and to the cell/islet-biomaterial inner interface.