Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology

, Volume 134, Issue 1, pp 61–76 | Cite as

Proliferation, viability, and metabolism of human tumor and normal cells cultured in microcapsule

  • Xulang Zhang
  • Wei Wang
  • Yubing Xie
  • Ying Zhang
  • Xiuli Wang
  • Xin Guo
  • Xiaojun MaEmail author
Original Research Articles


In this study, we investigated the effect of the microenvironment provided by alginate-poly-l-lysine-alginate (APA) microcapsule with liquefied or gelled core on the proliferation, viability, and metabolism of human cells, including anchorage-dependent MCF-7 breast cancer cells and primary fibroblasts, and anchorage-independent K-562 leukemia cells; cells in conventional culture were used as control. The growth pattern of cells in microcapsule was examined by phase-contrast micrography. The cell viability, proliferation, organization, and gene expression were evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay, hematoxylin and eosin staining, live/dead staining, 5-bromo-20-deoxyuridine labeling, and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Cell metabolism was determined by measuring glucose and lactate concentrations in medium. The results demonstrate that APA microcapsule with liquefied core provides a microenvironment for both anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent cells to grow into a large cell aggregate and maintain cell viability at a constant level for a period of time. In conclusion, cells in APA microcapsule are alive and have proliferation potential with lower metabolism rate. APA microcapsule may be a useful tool for in vitro tumor cell modeling and anticancer drug screening as well as for cancer gene therapy. In addition, it lays a solid foundation for the use of microencapsulation in cell culture in vitro and cell implantation in vivo.

Index Entries

Alginate microcapsule cell encapsulation poly-l-lysine tumor cell 


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Copyright information

© Human Press Inc 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xulang Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Wang
    • 1
  • Yubing Xie
    • 1
  • Ying Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiuli Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xin Guo
    • 1
  • Xiaojun Ma
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biomedical Material Engineering, Dalian Institute of Chemical PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesDalianChina
  2. 2.Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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