Microencapsulation-based cell therapies

Safiya Naina Marikar, Assam El-Osta, Angus Johnston, Georgina Such, Keith Al-Hasani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Mapping a new therapeutic route can be fraught with challenges, but recent developments in the preparation and properties of small particles combined with significant improvements to tried and tested techniques offer refined cell targeting with tremendous translational potential. Regenerating new cells through the use of compounds that regulate epigenetic pathways represents an attractive approach that is gaining increased attention for the treatment of several diseases including Type 1 Diabetes and cardiomyopathy. However, cells that have been regenerated using epigenetic agents will still encounter immunological barriers as well as limitations associated with their longevity and potency during transplantation. Strategies aimed at protecting these epigenetically regenerated cells from the host immune response include microencapsulation. Microencapsulation can provide new solutions for the treatment of many diseases. In particular, it offers an advantageous method of administering therapeutic materials and molecules that cannot be substituted by pharmacological substances. Promising clinical findings have shown the potential beneficial use of microencapsulation for islet transplantation as well as for cardiac, hepatic, and neuronal repair. For the treatment of diseases such as type I diabetes that requires insulin release regulated by the patient's metabolic needs, microencapsulation may be the most effective therapeutic strategy. However, new materials need to be developed, so that transplanted encapsulated cells are able to survive for longer periods in the host. In this article, we discuss microencapsulation strategies and chart recent progress in nanomedicine that offers new potential for this area in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number351
Number of pages13
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • B-cell transplantation
  • Cardiac
  • Cell reprogramming
  • Liver
  • Microencapsulation technologies
  • Neural tissue repair
  • Tissue repair
  • Type 1 diabetes

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