Membrane bioreactors as hybrid artificial pancreas: experimental evaluation

Celestino Pio Lombardi, A Urso, G Catapano, G Careddu, Giovanni Ghirlanda, Franco Ceriati, Giuseppe Brisinda, Rocco Domenico Alfonso Bellantone, Giovanni Doglietto, F. Crucitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Results of cultured islet transplantation in the management of insulin-dependent diabetes are still unsatisfactory. The main problem preventing success is the swift and resolute host immune rejection. To obviate this we designed and experimented a model of bioartificial pancreas, made of polymeric hollow fibers, put into the blood circulation as an artero-venous bypass to immunoisolate endocrine tissue from leucocytes and immunoglobulins. We tested four different membrane bioreactors (BR1-4). BR1 and 2 had seven hollow fibers, the others more than 6,000 smaller fibers. In BR4 a connecting tube with a high-permeability membrane was inserted between the islet compartment and the bioreactor outlet to improve the ultrafiltration flow. In vitro, the islets inside the bioreactor perfused with glucose solutions (300 mg%) showed a rapid, high insulin secretory response, related to the glucose stimulation. The use of the outside connection allowed a twofold increase of insulin production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-130
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Drug Compounding
  • Insulin
  • Insulin Infusion Systems
  • Islets of Langerhans
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Swine


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