Eugenia Kharlampieva

Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva Awarded a NSF Biomaterials Grant

Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva Awarded a National Science Foundation Biomaterials Grant
Immunomodulatory Ultrathin Multilayer Coatings for Pancreatic islet Transplantation NSF-DMR1306110, program of Biomaterials (BMAT)
Eugenia KharlampievaThis grant will supports the development of a novel type of cytoprotective material with controlled immunomodulatory and inflammatory responses to be used for cell-basedtransplantation therapy for diabetic recipients. This project is in collaboration between departments of Chemistry (Eugenia Kharlampieva, PI) and Microbiology (Hubert Tse, coPI).  Although transplantation of pancreatic islet cells has emerged as a promising treatment for Type 1 diabetes, its clinical application remains limited due to adverse effects of immunosuppression and declining allograft function. The awarded project will develop a preclinical approach to preserve islet viability and function during culturing and transplantation by protecting pancreatic islets (cell clusters) with a novel polymer coating. These coatings will be designed through hydrogen-bonded assembly of cytocompatible macromolecules with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics.  This project is particularly timely since current islet encapsulation systems are challenging for transplantations due to high cytotoxicity and the requirement for large injection volumes. The design of novel immunoprotective materials will open new prospects for developing biomaterials with unique characteristics having applications in various bio-related areas such as bioengineering and tissue engineering. The awarded project will develop interdisciplinary collaborative research which should stimulate awareness of the needs of the UAB biomedical research community for specialized polymer-based biomaterials as novel platforms for cell transplantation therapy.