Cell encapsulation via microtechnologies

Ah Ran Kang, Ji Soo Park, Jongil Ju, Gi Seok Jeong, Sang Hoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

194 Citations (Scopus)


The encapsulation of living cells in a variety of soft polymers or hydrogels is important, particularly, for the rehabilitation of functional tissues capable of repairing or replacing damaged organs. Cellular encapsulation segregates cells from the surrounding tissue to protect the implanted cell from the recipient's immune system after transplantation. Diverse hydrogel membranes have been popularly used as encapsulating materials and permit the diffusion of gas, nutrients, wastes and therapeutic products smoothly. This review describes a variety of methods that have been developed to achieve cellular encapsulation using microscale platform. Microtechnologies have been adopted to precisely control the encapsulated cell number, size and shape of a cell-laden polymer structure. We provide a brief overview of recent microtechnology-based cell encapsulation methods, with a detailed description of the relevant processes. Finally, we discuss the current challenges and future directions likely to be taken by cell microencapsulation approaches toward tissue engineering and cell therapy applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2651-2663
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) (No. 10041923 ) and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (No. 2013046403 ), Republic of Korea.


  • Cell encapsulation
  • Immune protection
  • Microencapsulation
  • Microtechnology
  • Tissue engineering
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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