Past Issue

Volume 20, Number 1, Spring 2018, Serial Number: 77, Pages: 25-30

Alginate Microcapsules as Nutrient Suppliers: An In Vitro Study

Ahad Khoshzaban, M.Sc., D.D.S., Ph.D, 1, 2, 3, Peyman Keyhanvar, Ph.D, 2, Elham Delrish, M.Sc, 2, Farhood Najafi, Ph.D., 4, Saeed Heidari Keshel, Ph.D., 2, Ikuya Watanabe, Ph.D., 5, Alireza Valanezhad, Ph.D., 5, Tahereh Jafarzadeh Kashi, Ph.D., 1, 3, *,
Iranian Tissue Bank and Research Center, Imam Khomeini Medical Complex Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Stem Cell Preparation Unit, Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Dental Biomaterials, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Resin and Additives, Institute for Color Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran
Department of Bio-Engineering, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan
*Corresponding Address: P.O. BOX: 14395-43 End of North Karegar Department of Dental Biomaterials School of Dentistry Tehran University of Medical Sciences Tehran Iran



Alginate, known as a group of anionic polysaccharides extracted from seaweeds, has attracted the attention of researchers because of its biocompatibility and degradability properties. Alginate has shown beneficial effects on wound healing as it has similar function as extracellular matrix. Alginate microcapsules (AM) that are used in tissue engineering as well as Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM) contain nutrients required for cell viability. The purpose of this research was introducing AM in medium and nutrient reagent cells and making a comparison with control group cells that have been normally cultured in long term.

Materials and Methods

In this experimental study, AM were shaped in distilled water, it was dropped at 5 mL/hours through a flat 25G5/8 sterile needle into a crosslinking bath containing 0.1 M calcium chloride to produce calcium alginate microspheres. Then, the size of microcapsules (300-350 µm) were confirmed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images after the filtration for selection of the best size. Next, DMEM was injected into AM. Afterward, adipose- derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) and Ringer’s serum were added. Then, MTT and DAPI assays were used for cell viability and nucleus staining, respectively. Also, morphology of microcapsules was determined under invert microscopy.


Evaluation of the cells performed for spatial media/microcapsules at the volume of 40 µl, showed ADSCs after 1-day cell culture. Also, MTT assay results showed a significant difference in the viability of sustained-release media injected to microcapsules (P<0.05). DAPI staining revealed living cells on the microcapsules after 1 to 7-day cell culture.


According to the results, AM had a positive effect on cell viability in scaffolds and tissue engineering and provide nutrients needed in cell therapy.