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Biotechnol Lett. 2005 Mar;27(5):317-22.

In vitro study of alginate-chitosan microcapsules: an alternative to liver cell transplants for the treatment of liver failure.

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  • 1Biomedical Technology and Cell Therapy Research Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering and Organs Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, 3775 University Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4.


The application of alginate-chitosan (AC) microcapsules to liver cell transplantation has not been previously investigated. In the current in vitro study, we have investigated the potential of AC microcapsules for the encapsulation of liver cells and show that the AC membrane supports the survival, proliferation and protein secretion by entrapped hepatocytes. The AC membrane provides cell immuno-isolation and has the potential for cell cryopreservation. The AC microcapsule has several advantages compared to more widely used alginate-poly-L-lysine (APA) microcapsules for the application of cell therapy.

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