Control of molecular weight cut-off immunoisolation by multilayering glycol chitosan-alginate polyion complex on alginate-based microcapsules

S. Sakai, T. Ono, H. Ijima, K. Kawakami

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Glycol chitosan is a positively charged polysaccharide which is water-soluble at pH 7.4, and is able to form a polyion complex (PIC) with anionic polymers, such as alginate. The authors attempt to develop a novel type of alginate-based microcapsule using this glycol chitosan for a islets-encapsulated bioartificial pancreas. The number of layers composed of glycol chitosan-alginate (GC-Alg) PIC were optimized, in order to cut off immunoglobulin transport and to protect encapsulated islets from the host immune reaction, and the transport characteristics were evaluated of glucose, bovine serum albumin (BSA) and γ-globulin. To add mechanical stability to the microcapsule, calcium ions, which crosslinked the alginate polymers close to the interface between core Caalginate and multilayered membrane, were partially substituted with barium ions after the formation of multilayered Ca-alginate gel beads. The partition coefficients of BSA and γ-globulin were decreased with the increasing number of layers. The immunoisolation was achieved against γ-globulin with four layers of the GC-Alg PIC membrane, while BSA could permate the membrane. The four-layered Ba-alginate gel bead had a good permeability for glucose, giving a diffusion coefficient corresponding to 80% of that in pure water. Insulin secretion from the islets in the four-layered Ba-alginate microcapsule was satisfactorily observed with the fractional stimulation ratio of 2.17. This result indicates that the encapsulated islets maintained their viability even after encapsulation. It was, thus, shown that the Ba-alginate microcapsule with four layers of the GC-Alg PIC membrane is promising as the microencapsulation material for a bioartificial pancreas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-699
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microencapsulation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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