1. Microcapsules are gel microspheres that serve for micro-containers of a variety of cells. Highly specialized cells, such as pancreatic islet beta cells secreting insulin, may be encapsulated with full retention of the entrapped cells viability and function. When containing secretory cells, the microcapsules constitute a bio-hybrid organ for bioactive molecules delivery.
2. Microcapsules are fabricated with ultra-purified ("clinical grade") alginic acid polymers that comply with FDA specifications for human use. In fact, these capsules are highly biocompatible, selectively permeable and retrievable upon graft.
3. Microcapsules formulated with ultra-purified alginates and poly-L-ornithine have reached the standards (permission obtained from European and Italian Agency for Drugs) for use in patients with type 1 diabetes: 4 transplanted human patients with long standing T1D have shown evidence of grafted encapsulated islet cells function throughout 5 years of post-transplant follow-up.
4. Depending upon the cell types that are lodged within microcapsules, the microencapsulated cells have been proven effective not only in the treatment of T1D, but also of other chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative (muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, etc.) and auto immune conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, etc.).
5. The microcapsules have been shown to clearly prolong the life span of the encapsulated cells and are suitable for long-haul transportation with no loss of cell viability. These microcapsules are very easy to handle and transplant: easily injectable in the peritoneal cavity under local anesthesia.