Alginate Encapsulation of Pluripotent Stem Cells Using a Co-axial Nozzle

J Vis Exp. 2015 Jul 2;(101):e52835. doi: 10.3791/52835.

Abstract

Pluripotent stem cells (PS cells) are the focus of intense research due to their role in regenerative medicine and drug screening. However, the development of a mass culture system would be required for using PS cells in these applications. Suspension culture is one promising culture method for the mass production of PS cells, although some issues such as controlling aggregation and limiting shear stress from the culture medium are still unsolved. In order to solve these problems, we developed a method of calcium alginate (Alg-Ca) encapsulation using a co-axial nozzle. This method can control the size of the capsules easily by co-flowing N₂ gas. The controllable capsule diameter must be larger than 500 µm because too high a flow rate of N₂ gas causes the breakdown of droplets and thus heterogeneous-sized capsules. Moreover, a low concentration of Alg-Na and CaCl₂ causes non-spherical capsules. Although an Alg-Ca capsule without a coating of Alg-PLL easily dissolves enabling the collection of cells, they can also potentially leak out from capsules lacking an Alg-PLL coating. Indeed, an alginate-PLL coating can prevent cellular leakage but is also hard to break. This technology can be used to research the stem cell niche as well as the mass production of PS cells because encapsulation can modify the micro-environment surrounding cells including the extracellular matrix and the concentration of secreted factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Alginates / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Capsules
  • Cell Culture Techniques*
  • Glucuronic Acid / chemistry
  • Hexuronic Acids / chemistry
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mice

Substances

  • Alginates
  • Capsules
  • Hexuronic Acids
  • Hydrogel, Polyethylene Glycol Dimethacrylate
  • Glucuronic Acid