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Journal of Healthcare Engineering
Volume 2, Issue 4, Pages 427-446
Research Article

Microencapsulating and Banking Living Cells for Cell-Based Medicine

Wujie Zhang1,2 and Xiaoming He1,2,3

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3James Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Received 1 March 2011; Accepted 1 August 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


A major challenge to the eventual success of the emerging cell-based medicine such as tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and cell transplantation is the limited availability of the desired cell sources. This challenge can be addressed by cell microencapsulation to overcome the undesired immune response (i.e., to achieve immunoisolation) so that non-autologous cells can be used to treat human diseases, and by cell/tissue preservation to bank living cells for wide distribution to end users so that they are readily available when needed in the future. This review summarizes the status quo of research in both cell microencapsulation and banking the microencapsulated cells. It is concluded with a brief outlook of future research directions in this important field.