An immune regulatory 3D-printed alginate-pectin construct for immunoisolation of insulin producing β-cells

Shuxian Hu*, Francisco Drusso Martinez-Garcia, Brenden N Moeun, Janette Kay Burgess, Martin Conrad Harmsen, Corinne Hoesli, Paul de Vos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)


Different bioinks have been used to produce cell-laden alginate-based hydrogel constructs for cell replacement therapy but some of these approaches suffer from issues with print quality, long-term mechanical instability, and bioincompatibility. In this study, new alginate-based bioinks were developed to produce cell-laden grid-shaped hydrogel constructs with stable integrity and immunomodulating capacity. Integrity and printability were improved by including the co-block-polymer Pluronic F127 in alginate solutions. To reduce inflammatory responses, pectin with a low degree of methylation was included and tested for inhibition of Toll-Like Receptor 2/1 (TLR2/1) dimerization and activation and tissue responses under the skin of mice. The viscoelastic properties of alginate-Pluronic constructs were unaffected by pectin incorporation. The tested pectin protected printed insulin-producing MIN6 cells from inflammatory stress as evidenced by higher numbers of surviving cells within the pectin-containing construct following exposure to a cocktail of the pro-inflammatory cytokines namely, IL-1β, IFN-γ, and TNF-α. The results suggested that the cell-laden construct bioprinted with pectin-alginate-Pluronic bioink reduced tissue responses via inhibiting TLR2/1 and support insulin-producing β-cell survival under inflammatory stress. Our study provides a potential novel strategy to improve long-term survival of pancreatic islet grafts for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112009
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials science & engineering c-Biomimetic and supramolecular systems
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2021

Cite this