Hydroxyethyl methacrylate-methyl methacrylate (HEMA-MMA) copolymers for cell microencapsulation: effect of HEMA purity

J Biomater Sci Polym Ed. 2000;11(5):537-45. doi: 10.1163/156856200743850.


Thermoplastic copolymers of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) (molar ratio: 75/25 HEMA-MMA) were synthesized using HEMA containing different amounts of ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) to investigate their suitability for cell microencapsulation. Pure HEMA (0.0% EGDMA) was obtained with preparative chromatography to prepare a linear copolymer. Microcapsules (with a diameter of 300-400 microm) were readily made with the copolymers by interfacial precipitation. Smaller and more transparent capsules were obtained using the copolymer prepared from purer HEMA. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) fibroblasts, as model cells, were microencapsulated in the linear copolymer. The CHO cells survived the microencapsulation process and the metabolic activity of the encapsulated cells increased within the 14 days observation period.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capsules*
  • Cell Survival
  • Cricetinae
  • Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Methylmethacrylates*
  • Polyhydroxyethyl Methacrylate*
  • Time Factors


  • Capsules
  • Methylmethacrylates
  • Polyhydroxyethyl Methacrylate
  • HTR composite