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Keywords:

  • insulin;
  • pancreatic β-cell line;
  • encapsulation

Clonal insulin-secreting BRIN-BD11 cells engineered by electrofusion were encapsulated inside natrium alginate beads and cultured in RPMI 1640 culture media. Acute insulin secretory responses to glucose and amino acids were compared between microencapsulated cells and non-encapsulated cells maintained in monolayer culture. Encapsulated cells exhibited a 1.5-fold, 2.9-fold and 4.2-fold increase (P< 0.001) in insulin release in response to 16.7mmol/l glucose, 10mmol/l L-arginine and 10mmol/l L-alanine respectively. Insulin output by non-encapsulated cells was approximately 30% greater but the relative magnitudes of responses were similar. This is the first study to demonstrate the stability of cellular engineered insulin-secreting cells encapsulated in alginate beads, illustrating the utility of this approach for cellular engineering and potential transplantation in diabetes.