Preparation and characterization of polysaccharidic microbeads by a microfluidic technique: Application to the encapsulation of Sertoli cells
Polysaccharides (e.g. alginate or agarose) represent a class of polymers commonly employed for the preparation of microparticles for cell entrapment and tissue engineering applications. The present work describes the production and characterization, by a microfluidic approach, of microbeads constituted of alginate and alginate/agarose blends, for the encapsulation of eukaryotic cells. The general production strategy is based on the formation of water-in-oil multiphase flow by a “Y” junction squeezing mechanism. The presented data demonstrate that the gelation step represents the crucial point for the production of morphologically excellent microbeads. In this respect, microfluidic methods appear to be an effective procedure for the production of microbeads intended for cell encapsulation, as proved by the high viability and maintenance of functional capability demonstrated by the encapsulated Sertoli cells.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 6, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 429–435