Islet cell transplantation is a potential and attractive alternative to exogenous insulin administration for the therapy of IDDM. Large scale clinical applicability of this approach has been hampered, so far, by technical problems such as separation of massive islet concentrations and immune rejection. Microencapsulation within algin/polyaminoacids has provided islets with selective permeable biomembranes thus allowing prevention of the host's immune response and circumvention of general immunosuppression of the recipient. This progress could offer new opportunities for islet cell transplantation in patients with IDDM.
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