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J Control Release. 2012 Mar 28;158(3):443-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.09.079. Epub 2011 Sep 24.

Optimization of 100 μm alginate-poly-L-lysine-alginate capsules for intravitreous administration.

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NanoBioCel Group, Laboratory of Pharmaceutics, University of the Basque Country, School of Pharmacy, Vitoria, Spain.


The field of cell microencapsulation is advancing rapidly. Particle size plays a critical role in terms of biocompatibility and limits decisively its applicability. Producing reduced size microcapsules involves broadening the possibilities to employ this technology in the treatment of many disorders. Nervous system diseases (NSD) represent a clear example of that. This work describes the feasibility of reducing the size of alginate-poly-L-lysine-alginate (APA) microcapsules up to 100 μm in a highly monodisperse way using the novel Flow Focusing technique. C(2)C(12) myoblasts genetically engineered to express the triple reporter gene thymidine kinase-green fluorescent protein-luciferase (TGL) and secrete vascular endothelial growth factor soluble receptor 2 (VEGFR2, also known as KDR) were encapsulated for further characterization. Resulting new particles were assayed in vitro to explore whether their functionality might be affected due to the physicochemical changes arising from such dramatic size reduction. Not only were negative effects at this level not noticed in terms of cell viability, cell proliferation and KDR secretion, but once again the suitability of APA microcapsules was also reinforced against other microcapsule designs. Furthermore, the fully viable and functional biosystems were successfully administered in the intravitreous space of rats, where the activity of encapsulated cells was monitoring over 3 weeks.

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