Encapsulation and Fluidization Maintains the Viability and Glucose Sensitivity of Beta-Cells

Niusha Nikravesh, Sophie C. Cox, Marianne J. Ellis, Liam M. Grover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)


This study presents experimental data of a fluidized-bed bioreactor for the cultivation of encapsulated pancreatic beta-cells. The fluidization quality for the bioreactor was evaluated at different flow rate using bed-expansion parameters. Homogeneous distribution of microcapsules was achieved at a flow rate of 2000 μL/min. This enabled efficient contact between the encapsulated cells and medium, which contributed to high cell viability. Microcapsule breakage was <4% on day 7 and confirmed the stability of encapsulated systems under fluidized culture. Importantly, endocrine beta-cells cultured in the bioreactor were shown to be dramatically more responsive to changes in glucose concentration compared to static culture (P < 0.001). On the basis of these results, cultivation of encapsulated cells in a fluidized bioreactor, especially for pancreatic beta-cells that are limited in supply, is a promising approach to address the lack of a safe method for storage and handling of cells between laboratories and clinical sites prior to transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1750-1757
Number of pages8
JournalACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering
Issue number8
Early online date19 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2017


  • bioreactor
  • endocrine beta-cells
  • fluidization
  • insulin secretion
  • microcapsules
  • viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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