Thaw Gelation Process for Encapsulating Cell Spheroids

Tech ID: 29904 / UC Case 2018-496-0

Abstract

Researchers at the University of California Davis have developed a thaw gelation process for the formation of cell spheroids within a hydrogel shell.

Full Description

Cell spheroids allow for the interaction of cells both with each other and the extracellular environment. These spheroids can be encapsulated in shells, creating a shell and core structure, to deliver or test the effect of cargo, such as small molecules and drugs, on cellular responses in a 3D environment. These 3D structures, however, are limited in their ability to form hydrogel shells around cell cultures and may require specialized equipment for making organoids.

Researchers at the University of California Davis have developed a thaw gelation process that enables the formation of cell spheroids within a hydrogel shell. Briefly, cells are frozen in a special freezing solution and, when poured into a special thawing solution, the solutions rapidly gel and encapsulate the cells in a hydrogel shell. The shell retains the shape of the molded disc and can act as a reservoir for the compartmentalization and isolation of distinct cell populations. The shell can also be degraded via enzyme for the controlled release of encapsulated contents. This method does not require specialized wells or drop holding equipment and reduces the spheroid formation time as cells can be encapsulated straight out of cryopreservation.

Applications

  • Generating cell spheroids
  • Delivery vehicle for encapsulated small molecules and drugs

Features/Benefits

  • Hydrogel shell allows for uniform diffusion of gases and media into the capsule
  • Sacrificial material allows for ease of extraction
  • Reduces equipment and time needed to make spheroids
  • Easy adjustment to encapsulating material’s strength, porosity, degradation, and cell adhesion
  • Easy adjustment to shape and size of the controlled volume, cell concentrations, and cell types
  • Allows for utilization of different cell types encapsulated individually or mixed and cultured in a single culture environment
  • Structure shields spheroids from shear forces during media replacement
  • Does not require specialized wells or drop holding equipment
  • Cells can be encapsulated straight out of cryopreservation

Patent Status

Patent Pending

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Inventors

  • Hadley, Dustin J.
  • Silva, Eduardo

Other Information

Keywords

spheroids, cryopreservation, encapsulation, sacrificial, gelation, hydrogel shell

Categorized As