Fabrication of core-shell microcapsules using PLGA and alginate for dual growth factor delivery system

Dong Hoon Choi, Chul Ho Park, Ik Hwan Kim, Heung Jae Chun, Kwideok Park, Dong Keun Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


To effectively harness the great potential of stem cells, we designed a dual growth factor delivery system for the application toward stem cell differentiation into specific lineages. This system carries a core-shell structure within microcapsules made of poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and alginate, which were fabricated using a coaxial electro-dropping method. Both PLGA and alginate were supplied from the inner and outer nozzles, respectively. The size and shape of microcapsules were greatly varying depending on the variables: nozzle size, applied voltage, volumetric feeding ratio (PLGA:alginate), feeding rate, and polymer concentrations. Once proper conditions were met, single or multi PLGA cores were found settled within the microcapsules. From the microscopic images, wrinkled surfaces of microcapsules were observed, along with the PLGA cores inside the alginate domain. When two different microcapsules were made, switching the position of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 and dexamethasone (Dex) for either core or shell domain, their release profiles were very unique on a temporal basis, based on their location in the microcapsules. An initial burst of biomolecules was highly suppressed when either biomolecule was loaded in the PLGA core. It was clear that the osteogenic biomolecules encapsulated in the microcapsule could be released together and their concentrations were disparate at each time point. Meanwhile as the hydrogel constructs including rat bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and osteogenic factor-loaded microcapsules were cultured for up to 4. weeks, the gene expressions levels of osteopontin, type I collagen, and osteocalcin were significantly upregulated as compared to the control group. The present coaxial system was very effective in manufacturing PLGA core-alginate shell microcapsules and in encapsulating multiple biomolecules essential for stem cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Fundamental R&D Program for Core Technology of Materials funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy ( K0006028 ) and by the grant 2E21681 (KIST) from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology , Republic of Korea.


  • Alginate
  • Coaxial system
  • Core-shell microcapsule
  • Dual growth factor delivery
  • PLGA
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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