Early studies showed that silicon microdevices were biocompatible in vitro and in vivo . For these microimplants, there appeared to be no changes in the mechanical properties of the implants and no corrosion was observed. The filtration channels appeared clear and free from any obstructions. No gross abnormalities of color or consistency were observed in the tissue surrounding the implant. No necrosis, calcification, tumorgenesis, or infection was observed at any of the implant sites, suggesting that silicon substrates were well-tolerated and non-toxic both in vitro and in vivo, leading to our further studies on cell encapsulation within biocapsules.
The behavior of different cell types in three-dimensional silicon microstructures was studied using microfabricated half-capsules . All cells had normal growth characteristics, morphology, and greater than 90% viability. Overall, islets in microfabricated silicon pockets and the control dishes appeared to have similar morphology and viability. Glucose-supplemented medium was allowed to diffuse to the islets, from underneath the membrane, to stimulate insulin production and monitor cell functionality. The concentration of insulin, secreted by the islets through the membrane, into the surrounding medium was compared
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