In vitro degradation profiles and in vivo biomaterial-tissue interactions of microwell array delivery devices

E. Hadavi, R.H.W. de Vries, A.M. Smink, B. de Haan, J. Leijten, L.W. Schwab, M.H.B.J. Karperien, P. de Vos, P.J. Dijkstra, A.A. van Apeldoorn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To effectively apply microwell array cell delivery devices their biodegradation rate must be tailored towards their intended use and implantation location. Two microwell array devices with distinct degradation profiles, either suitable for the fabrication of retrievable systems in the case of slow degradation, or cell delivery systems capable of extensive remodeling using a fast degrading polymer, were compared in this study. Thin films of a poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(butylene terephthalate) (PEOT-PBT) and a poly(ester urethane) were evaluated for their in vitro degradation profiles over 34 weeks incubation in PBS at different pH values. The PEOT-PBT films showed minimal in vitro degradation over time, while the poly(ester urethane) films showed extensive degradation and fragmentation over time. Subsequently, microwell array cell delivery devices were fabricated from these polymers and intraperitoneally implanted in Albino Oxford rats to study their biocompatibility over a 12-week period. The PEOT-PBT implants shown to be capable to maintain the microwell structure over time. Implants provoked a foreign body response resulting in multilayer fibrosis that integrated into the surrounding tissue. The poly(ester urethane) implants showed a loss of the microwell structures over time, as well as a fibrotic response until the onset of fragmentation, at least 4 weeks post implantation. It was concluded that the PEOT-PBT implants could be used as retrievable cell delivery devices while the poly(ester urethane) implants could be used for cell delivery devices that require remodeling within a 4-12 week period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-127
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B-applied Biomaterials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • biodegradation
  • block-copolymers
  • calcification
  • cell-material interactions
  • cells
  • collagen-iv
  • design
  • foreign body reactions (response)
  • implant design
  • insulin-secretion
  • polyurethanes
  • protection
  • regenerative medicine
  • scaffolds
  • stapled colorectal anastomoses


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