5 years ago

Alginate-Based Cell Microencapsulation for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

Dufresne M, Pandolfi V, Legallais C, Pereira U
Increasing numbers of requests for transplantable organs and their scarcity has led to a pressing need to find alternative solutions to standard transplantation. An appealing but challenging proposal came from the fields of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, the purpose of which is to build tissues/organs from scratch in the laboratory and use them as either permanent substitutes for direct implantation into the patient's body, or as temporary substitutes to bridge patients until organ regeneration or transplantation. Using bioartificial constructs requires administration of immunosuppressant therapies to prevent rejection by the recipient. Microencapsulation has been identified as promising technology for immunoisolating biological materials from immune system attacks by the patient. It is based on entrapping cellular material within a spherical semi-permeable polymeric scaffold. This latter defines the boundary between the internal native-like environment and the external "aggressive" one. The scaffold thus acts like a selective filter that makes possible an appropriate supply of nutrients and oxygen to the cellular constructs, while blocking the passage for adverse molecules. Alginate, which is a natural polymer, is the main biomaterial used in this context. Its excellent properties and mild gelation ability provide suitable conditions for supporting viability and preserving the functionalities of the cellular-engineered constructs over long periods. Although much remains to be done before bringing microencapsulated constructs into clinical practice, an increasing number of applications for alginate-based microencapsulation in numerous medical areas confirm the considerable potential for this technology in providing a cure for transplant in patients that excludes immunosuppressive therapies.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28911305

DOI: PubMed:28911305

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