Encapsulation of angiogenic monocytes using bio-spraying technology
Therapeutic neovascularisation using angiogenic cells has been hampered by the loss of cells from the target tissue. Encapsulation of these cells within a semi-permeable membrane could improve their retention within the ischaemic tissue without affecting the excretion of the angiogenic growth factors produced. Bio-spraying is a novel cell-handling technique that does not adversely affect cell viability. We used this technique to encapsulate human peripheral blood monocytes and found that cell viability, cell phenotype and functional downstream angiogenic signalling were preserved. Encapsulation of monocytes with macrophage-colony stimulating factor resulted in increased vascular-endothelial growth factor production and enhanced angiogenic function. Bio-spraying/encapsulation has the potential to enhance the efficacy of current angiogenic cell therapy strategies and merits further investigation.