Table of Contents
ISRN Biomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 375758, 6 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Three-Dimensional Porous Iron-Cross-Linked Alginate as a Scaffold for Cell Culture

Department of Biology, School of Education, Waseda University, 2-2 Wakamatsu-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8480, Japan

Received 26 November 2013; Accepted 31 December 2013; Published 6 February 2014

Academic Editors: P. Laurienzo and W.-B. Tsai

Copyright © 2014 Ikuko Machida-Sano et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigated the efficacy of three-dimensional porous ferric-ion-cross-linked alginate (Fe-alginate) gels as cell scaffolds, in comparison with calcium-ion-cross-linked alginate (Ca-alginate) gels. In a previous study, we had demonstrated that two-dimensional Fe-alginate film was an efficient material for use as a scaffold, allowing good cell adhesion and proliferation, unlike Ca-alginate film. In the present study, we fabricated three-dimensional porous Fe- and Ca-alginate gels by freeze-drying and evaluated their effects on cultured cells. The Fe-alginate gels showed higher protein adsorption ability than Ca-alginate gels. Cells formed multicellular spheroids in both types of alginate scaffold, but the number of cultured cells increased with culture time on Fe-alginate porous gels, whereas those on Ca-alginate gels did not. Moreover, it was revealed that the cells on Fe-alginate scaffolds were still viable inside the multicellular spheroids even after cultivation for 14 days. These results suggest that Fe-alginate provides a superior porous scaffold suitable for three-dimensional culture of cells. Our findings may be useful for extending the application of Fe-alginate to diverse biomedical fields.