Surface properties and implantation site affect the capsular fibrotic overgrowth

G. J. Bakeine, A. Bertolotti, M. Latina, T. Congiu, U. Prati, L. Roveda, F. Trotta, M. Tormen, E. Di Fabrizio, G. Carlini, A. Facoetti, R. Nano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Transplantation of encapsulated pancreatic islets is a promising approach for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Large-scale application of this technique, however, is hampered by insufficient biocompatibility of the capsules. In this study, we have evaluated the biocompatibility of a new synthetic material with six different chemical groups on their surface (amino, carboxy-sulfate, carboxylate, hydroxylate, sulfate, and PMMA) used for the fabrication of the microcapsules. Eight Lewis rats were inoculated with a suspension of empty capsules made for each candidate material in the retroperitoneal ileopsoas muscle and renal subcapsular space. Four weeks later kidney and muscle containing the capsules were explanted, paraffin embedded, sectioned and stained with Sirius Red and Masson's Trichrome for histological analysis. The amount of fibrosis was also ultrastructurally evaluated with scanning electron microscopy. The samples were then subjected to digitalized quantitative analysis using specific software to determine the degree of fibrotic overgrowth. The quantification of collagen deposition, calculated in proximity of the microcapsules, was expressed as a percentage of the total area and can be considered a good index for the biocompatibility, an essential prerequisite for functional pancreatic islet transplantation. The results show that subcapsular renal space is the best implantation site and the positive surface charge induces a more intense collagen synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)965-969
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 15 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Biocompatibility
  • Fibrotic growth
  • Implantation site
  • Pancreatic islet encapsulation
  • Surface charge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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