Encapsulation de cellules animales au sein de billes inorganiques poreuses minéralisées : vers la création d’organes artificiels

  • Philippe Dandoy

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences


The desire to find new treatments against non-infectious diseases like diabetes leads modern medicine to look towards emerging technologies. Current solutions to treat diabetes, such as organ graft and insulin therapy, present major drawbacks, thus when considering the limited supply of live organs for transplantation, the development of artificial organs to replace deficient ones becomes a principle goal for clinicians. Cell transplants are an adequate solution and have already proved to be successful. However, this method only offers short time relief. This drives the need to develop a method where cells are protected against rejection without the continual use of immunosuppressive drugs. Considering the progress in biological entities immobilisation from bacteria, yeasts and plant cells, animal cell immobilisation shows great potential in the treatment of pathological disorders. For example a type 1 diabetic patient could be offered an implant comprised of live beta-cells immobilised within a porous, biocompatible and robust material, which could improve their day-to-day life. The aim of this project was to create a hybrid material which could act as a surrogate organ in place of the deficient one, offering new hope in the domain of cell therapy. In this thesis, research on the design of an artificial organ and the materials developed are described. With the aid of a suite of techniques, these matrices have been characterised to outline their properties and highlight their affinity with animal cells. Results show that cells were alive several weeks post-immobilisation. In vivo experiments using the most promising matrix were performed to study the integration of hybrid beads within a whole body, highlighting that very low to no inflammatory response in laboratory animals was caused by the subcutaneous implant. Final results suggest that an appropriate material, which was both robust and biocompatible, was successfully synthesised with a porous diameter fulfilling the requirements for cell immuno-isolation. Moreover, it did not provoke inflammation in the connective tissues surrounding the implant during the one-month in vivo study.
Date of Award30 May 2011
Original languageFrench
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SupervisorBAO LIAN SU (Supervisor), Carine Michiels (Co-Supervisor), Johan Wouters (Jury), Christophe Meunier (Jury), Alain KRIEF (Jury), Carmela Aprile (President) & Alexandre F. Léonard (Jury)

Cite this