The fast development of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine drives the old biomaterials, for example, fibrin glue, to find new applications in these areas. Aiming at developing a commercially available hydrogel for cell entrapment and delivery, in this study we optimized the fabrication and gelation conditions of fibrin gel. Fibrinogen was isolated from human plasma by a freeze-thaw circle. Gelation of the fibrinogen was accomplished by mixing with thrombin. Absorbance of the fibrinogen/thrombin mixture at 550 nm as a function of reaction time was monitored by UV-VIS spectroscopy. It was found that the clotting time is significantly influenced by the thrombin concentration and the temperature, while less influenced by the fibrinogen concentration. After freeze-drying, the fibrin gel was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), revealing fibrous microstructure. Thermal gravimetric analysis found that the degradation temperature of the crosslinked fibrin gel starts from 288 degrees C, which is about 30 degrees C higher than that of the fibrinogen. The hydrogel has an initial water-uptake ratio of approximately 50, decreased to 30-40 after incubation in water for 11 h depending on the thrombin concentration. The fibrin gels lost their weights in PBS very rapidly, while slowly in DMEM/fetal bovine serum and DMEM. In vitro cell culture found that human fibroblasts could normally proliferate in the fibrin gel with spreading morphology. In conclusion, the fibrin gel containing higher concentration of fibrinogen (20 mg ml(-1)) and thrombin (5 U ml(-1)) has suitable gelation time and handling properties, and thus is applicable as a delivery vehicle for cells such as fibroblasts.