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Hydrogel-based encapsulation of biological, functional tissue: fundamentals, technologies and applications

: Zimmermann, H.; Ehrhart, F.; Zimmermann, D.; Muller, K.; Katsen-Globa, A.; Behringer, M.; Feilen, P.J.; Gessner, P.; Zimmermann, G.; Shirley, S.G.; Weber, M.M.; Metze, J.; Zimmermann, U.


Applied physics. A 89 (2007), No.4, pp.909-922
ISSN: 0340-3793
ISSN: 0721-7250
ISSN: 0947-8396 (Print)
ISSN: 1432-0630 (Online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Replacing dysfunctional endocrine cells or tissues (e.g. islets, parathyroid tissue) by functional, foreign material without using immunosuppressives could soon become reality. Immunological reactions are avoided by encapsulating cells/tissues in hydrogel (e.g. alginate) microcapsules, preventing interaction of the enclosed material with the host's immune system while permitting the unhindered passage of nutrients, oxygen and secreted therapeutic factors. Detailed investigations of the physical, physico-chemical and immunological parameters of alginate-based microcapsules have led recently to the development of a novel class of cell-entrapping microcapsules that meet the demands of biocompatibility, long-term integrity and function. This together with the development of 'good medical practice' microfluidic chip technology and of advanced cryopreservation technology for generation and storage of immunoisolated transplants will bring cell-based therapy to clinics and the market.