With strides in stem cell biology, cell engineering and molecular therapy, the transplantation of cells to produce therapeutic molecules endogenously is an attractive and achievable alternative to the use of exogenous drugs. The encapsulation of such cell transplants in semi-permeable, nanoporous constructs is often required to protect them from immune attack and to prevent their proliferation in the host. However, effective graft immunoisolation has been mostly elusive owing to the absence of a high-throughput method to create precisely controlled, high-aspect-ratio nanopores. To address the clinical need for effective cell encapsulation and immunoisolation, we devised a biocompatible cell-encapsulating microcontainer and a method to create highly anisotropic nanopores in the microcontainer’s surface. To evaluate the efficacy of these nanopores in oxygenating the encapsulated cells, we engineered 9L rat glioma cells to bioluminesce under hypoxic conditions. The methods described above should aid in evaluating the long term survival and efficacy of cellular grafts.
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