Oxygen releasing hydrogels for beta cell assisted therapy

Mette Steen Toftdal, Nayere Taebnia, Firoz Babu Kadumudi, Thomas Lars Andresen, Thomas Frogne, Louise Winkel, Lars Groth Grunnet, Alireza Dolatshahi-Pirouz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Diabetes is a serious chronic disease, which globally affects more than 400 million patients. Beta cell therapy has potential to serve as an effective cure to type 1 diabetes and several studies have already shown promising results in this regard. One of the major obstacles in cell therapy, however, is the hypoxic environment that therapeutic cells are subjected to immediately after the transplantation. In this study, a new approach is presented, based on hydrogels composed of thiolated hyaluronic acid (tHA), 8-arm-Poly(ethylene glycol)-Acrylate (PEGA), and calcium peroxide (CPO) as an oxygen releasing system. Hydrogels containing 0, 7.5, and 30% CPO were prepared, and the presence of CPO was confirmed via FTIR and Alizarin Red within the network. Oxygen release kinetics were monitored over time, and the results revealed that the hydrogels containing 30% CPO could release oxygen for at least 30 h. All three combinations were found to be injectable and suitable for beta cell therapy based on their mechanical and rheological properties. Additionally, to investigate the functionality of the system, insulin secreting INS-1E reporter cell clusters were encapsulated, and their viability was evaluated, which showed that CPO incorporation enhanced cell survival for at least three days.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120595
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Diabetes therapy
  • Oxygen release
  • Hydrogels
  • Calcium peroxide


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