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Encapsulation and Fluidization Maintains the Viability and Glucose Sensitivity of Beta-Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 19.06.2017, 00:00 by Niusha Nikravesh, Sophie C. Cox, Marianne J. Ellis, Liam M. Grover
This study presents experimental data of a fluidized-bed bioreactor for the cultivation of encapsulated pancreatic beta-cells. The fluidization quality for the bioreactor was evaluated at different flow rate using bed-expansion parameters. Homogeneous distribution of microcapsules was achieved at a flow rate of 2000 μL/min. This enabled efficient contact between the encapsulated cells and medium, which contributed to high cell viability. Microcapsule breakage was <4% on day 7 and confirmed the stability of encapsulated systems under fluidized culture. Importantly, endocrine beta-cells cultured in the bioreactor were shown to be dramatically more responsive to changes in glucose concentration compared to static culture (P < 0.001). On the basis of these results, cultivation of encapsulated cells in a fluidized bioreactor, especially for pancreatic beta-cells that are limited in supply, is a promising approach to address the lack of a safe method for storage and handling of cells between laboratories and clinical sites prior to transplantation.

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