Highlights and Trends in Cell Encapsulation

  • Gorka Orive
  • José Luis Pedraz
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 670)


The exciting developments in the field of drug delivery have already had an enormous impact on medical technology, facilitating the administration of many drugs and improving the pharmacokinetics of many others. The past few years have also seen several firsts, including the design of novel tissue engineered approaches, intriguing advances in the fields of biomaterials and cell therapy and the improvements in the fabrication of more refined and tailored micro and nanocarriers for protein and drug delivery. The sinergy of some of these promising fields have fuelled the progress of cell encapsulation technology, a relatively old concept pioneered 60 years ago. The ability to combine cells and polymer scaffolds to create “living cell medicines” that provide longterm drug delivery has opened new doors in the use of allografts. In fact, transplanted cells may be isolated from the host’s immune system by embedding them in a permeable device that controls the outward and inward diffusion of molecules and cells. As a result of this, the requirement for immunosuppresant drugs can be eliminated or at least reduced. At present, the burgeoning number of cutting edge discoveries is leading to the design of biomimetic and biodegradable microcarriers that can easily combined with stem cells. The latter will improve the protection and transport of the cells to the target injured tissue and then promote cell integration and consequently tissue repair or regeneration.

In the present reviews, we discussed the state of the art in the field of cell encapsulation technology. This book describes the most relevant aspects of the design and development of cell-loaded microcapsules. Some of the most interesting therapeutic applications of this technology are presented as are some of the limitations, future challenges and directions in the field.


Alginate Hydrogel Cell Encapsulation Cell Microencapsulation Tissue Engineer Approach Microencapsulation Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gorka Orive
    • 1
  • José Luis Pedraz
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmacy, Laboratory of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical TechnologyUniversity of the Basque CountryVitoria GasteizSpain

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