A method for the production of engineered alginate-based microparticles, containing extracellular matrix and neonatal porcine Sertoli cells (SCs), is described. As a source for extracellular matrix, a powder form of isolated and purified urinary bladder matrix (UBM) was employed. We demonstrated that the incorporation of UBM does not significantly alter the morphological and dimensional characteristics of the microparticles. The alginate microparticles were used for SC encapsulation as an immunoprotective barrier for transplant purposes, while the co-entrapped UBM promoted retention of cell viability and function. These engineered microparticles could represent a novel approach to enhancing immunological acceptance and increasing the functional life-span of the entrapped cells for cell/tissue engineering applications. In this respect, it is noteworthy that isolated neonatal porcine SCs, administered alone in highly biocompatible microparticles, led to diabetes prevention and reversion in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice.
- Cell encapsulation
- Urinary bladder matrix