Hybrid Alginate@TiO2 Porous Microcapsules as a Reservoir of Animal Cells for Cell Therapy

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The number of patients suffering from diseases linked with hormone deficiency (e.g., type 1 diabetes mellitus) has significantly increased in recent years. As organ transplantation presents its limits, the design of novel robust devices for cell encapsulation is of great interest. The current study reports the design of a novel hybrid alginate microcapsule reinforced by titania via a biocompatible synthesis from an aqueous stable titania precursor (TiBALDH) and a cationic polyamine (PDDAC) under mild conditions. The biocompatibility of this one-pot synthesis was confirmed by evaluation of the cytotoxicity of the precursor, additive, product, and by-product. The morphology, structure, and properties of the obtained hybrid microcapsule were characterized in detail. The microcapsule displayed mesoporous, which was a key parameter to allow the diffusion of nutrients and metabolites and to avoid the entry of immune defenders. The hybrid microcapsule also showed enhanced mechanical stability compared to the pure alginate microcapsule, making it an ideal candidate as a cell reservoir. HepG2 model cells encapsulated in the hybrid microcapsules remained intact for 43 days as highlighted by fluorescent viability probes, their oxygen consumption, and their albumin secretion. The study provides a significant progress in the conception of the robust and biocompatible reservoirs of animal cells for cell therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37865–37877
Number of pages13
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • biocompatible synthesis
  • cell encapsulation
  • enhanced mechanical resistance
  • hybrid hydrogel
  • long-term cell activity
  • porous nanostructure


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