Encapsulated arrays of self-assembled microtissues: an alternative to spherical microcapsules

Rago AP, Chai PR, Morgan JR.
Source
Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology, Center for Biomedical Engineering, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.

Abstract
Micro-encapsulation and immuno-isolation of allogenic and xenogenic tissues and cells is a promising method for the treatment of a variety of metabolic disorders. Many years have been spent optimizing spherical microcapsules, yet micro-encapsulation has not achieved its full clinical potential. As an alternative to spherical microcapsules, this study presents an alginate-encapsulated array of self-assembled three-dimensional (3D) microtissues. Monodispersed HepG2 cells were seeded onto a micro-molded agarose gel. Cells settled to the bottom of the mold recesses and self-assembled 3D microtissues (n = 822) within 24 h. This array of densely packed microtissues was encapsulated in situ using alginate. When separated from the agarose micro-mold, the encapsulated array had HepG2 microtissues in close proximity to its surface. This surface could be further modified by a simple dipping process. Microtissue size, viability, and albumin secretion were all controllable by the number of cells seeded onto the original agarose micro-mold, and microtissue shape and spacing were controllable by the design of the micro-mold. This approach to encapsulation and the use of self-assembled/self-packing 3D microtissues offers new design possibilities that may help to address certain limitations of conventional microcapsules.

3D Petri Dishes™ used in this paper (please click catalog numbers for detailed product descriptions):
Catalog # 12-256, and 24-96 are the MicroTissues, Inc products that grow small spheroids. Catalog # 12-81 and 24-35 are used to grow larger spheroids.

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