Alginate as immobilization matrix for cells

Trends Biotechnol. 1990 Mar;8(3):71-8. doi: 10.1016/0167-7799(90)90139-o.


In recent years, entrapment of cells within spheres of Ca2+ alginate has become the most widely used technique for immobilizing living cells. This versatile method includes applications ranging from immobilization of living or dead cells in bioreactors, immobilization of plant protoplasts for micropropagation and immobilization of hybridoma cells for production of monoclonal antibodies, to entrapment of animal cells for implantation of artificial organs. This review evaluates the potential of this method on the basis of the current knowledge of structural and functional relationships in alginate gels.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alginates* / isolation & purification
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Biotechnology / methods
  • Carbohydrate Sequence
  • Cell Movement* / physiology
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Gels
  • Microspheres
  • Molecular Sequence Data


  • Alginates
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Gels