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CHAPTER 21

Fabrication of Multifunctional Materials for Cell Transplantation by Microfluidics

The embedding of cells into multifunctional materials represents an appealing and important way for preparing devices aimed at cell-based therapies and tissue engineering strategies. These procedures are mainly focused on the immunoisolation of the encapsulated cells from the environment in which they are transplanted and to the maintenance of their viability and physiology. The performance of the multifunctional materials is mainly related to the dimension, morphology and diffusivity, which are dependent on the preparation method. Microfluidic methods offer, in this respect, an important approach to prepare dimensionally and morphologically uniform devices with mechanical and physico–chemical properties tailored to the specific applications. In the current chapter, different microfluidic-based procedures are described and discussed with a special eye on the influence of the applied preparation protocol on the in vitro and in vivo performances of the entrapped cells. A short section is also devoted to the description of the characteristics of the microdevices applied to cell encapsulation and of the materials used for the production of the devices. Microfluidic “living microchips” are also introduced together with the limitations and challenges of the future perspectives of microfluidics as tools for multifunctional material preparation.

Publication details


Print publication date
13 Dec 2016
Copyright year
2017
Print ISBN
978-1-78262-464-6
PDF eISBN
978-1-78262-675-6
ePub eISBN
978-1-78262-981-8
From the book series:
Smart Materials Series