Alginate Core–Shell Capsules for 3D Cultivation of Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Nebel S, Lux M, Kuth S, Bider F, Dietrich W, Egger D, Boccaccini AR, Kasper C (2022)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2022


Book Volume: 9

Article Number: 66

Journal Issue: 2

DOI: 10.3390/bioengineering9020066


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are primary candidates in tissue engineering and stem cell therapies due to their intriguing regenerative and immunomodulatory potential. Their ability to self-assemble into three-dimensional (3D) aggregates further improves some of their therapeutic properties, e.g., differentiation potential, secretion of cytokines, and homing capacity after administration. However, high hydrodynamic shear forces and the resulting mechanical stresses within commercially available dynamic cultivation systems can decrease their regenerative properties. Cells embedded within a polymer matrix, however, lack cell-to-cell interactions found in their physiological environment. Here, we present a “semi scaffold-free” approach to protect the cells from high shear forces by a physical barrier, but still allow formation of a 3D structure with in vivo-like cell-to-cell contacts. We highlight a relatively simple method to create core–shell capsules by inverse gelation. The capsules consist of an outer barrier made from sodium alginate, which allows for nutrient and waste diffusion and an inner compartment for direct cell-cell interactions. Next to capsule characterization, a harvesting procedure was established and viability and proliferation of human adipose-derived MSCs were investigated. In the future, this encapsulation and cultivation tech-nique might be used for MSC-expansion in scalable dynamic bioreactor systems, facilitating down-stream procedures, such as cell harvest and differentiation into mature tissue grafts.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Nebel, S., Lux, M., Kuth, S., Bider, F., Dietrich, W., Egger, D.,... Kasper, C. (2022). Alginate Core–Shell Capsules for 3D Cultivation of Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Bioengineering, 9(2).


Nebel, Sabrina, et al. "Alginate Core–Shell Capsules for 3D Cultivation of Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells." Bioengineering 9.2 (2022).

BibTeX: Download