Bioorthogonal layer-by-layer encapsulation of pancreatic islets via hyperbranched polymers

Kerim M. Gattás-Asfura, Cherie L. Stabler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Encapsulation of viable tissues via layer-by-layer polymer assembly provides a versatile platform for cell surface engineering, with nanoscale control over the capsule properties. Herein, we report the development of a hyperbranched polymer-based, ultrathin capsule architecture expressing bioorthogonal functionality and tailored physiochemical properties. Random carbodiimide-based condensation of 3,5-dicarboxyphenyl glycineamide on alginate yielded a highly branched polysaccharide with multiple, spatially restricted, and readily functionalizable terminal carboxylate moieties. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) was utilized to link azido end groups to the structured alginate. Together with a phosphine-functionalized poly(amidoamine) dendrimer, nanoscale layer-by-layer coatings, covalently stabilized via Staudinger ligation, were assembled onto solid surfaces and pancreatic islets. The effects of electrostatic and/or bioorthogonal covalent interlayer interactions on the resulting coating efficiency and stability, as well as pancreatic islet viability and function, were studied. These hyperbranched polymers provide a flexible platform for the formation of covalently stabilized, ultrathin coatings on viable cells and tissues. In addition, the hyperbranched nature of the polymers presents a highly functionalized surface capable of bioorthogonal conjugation of additional bioactive or labeling motifs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9964-9974
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 23 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • cell encapsulation
  • conformal coating
  • dendritic polymer
  • layer-by-layer
  • Staudinger ligation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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