Cell Therapy pp 121-138 | Cite as

Encapsulation Approaches to Cell Therapy

  • Paul de VosEmail author
Part of the Molecular and Translational Medicine book series (MOLEMED)


The principle of immunoisolation of cells is based on envelopment of cells in immunoprotective but semipermeable capsules that protect cells from immune attack by the host. Many different concepts in different geometries have been introduced in the past two decades and are here discussed in view of future application in humans.

Although much progress has been accomplished in producing capsules that elicit not more than minimal immune responses, it has, at the same time, been demonstrated that for longevity of the grafts, the capsules need significant adaptations to facilitate long-term functional survival of the enveloped tissue. Items such as mechanotransduction, an optimal intracapsular environment, as well as prevention of release of danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) require adaptations of the currently applied systems.

It is concluded that although the proof of principle of applicability of encapsulated grafts merits optimism about its clinical potential, current challenges are to innovate on properties of capsules to enhance cell survival.


Encapsulation Insulin Alginate Biocompatibility Biotolerability 



PdV is grateful for financial support from the Dutch Diabetes Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pathology and Medical Biology, Section of ImmunoendocrinologyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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