Microencapsulation of growth factors by microfluidic system
The encapsulation of growth factors is an important component of tissue engineer- ing. Using microspheres is a convenient approach in which the dose of factors can be regulated by increasing or decreasing the number of encapsulated microspheres. Moreover, microspheres offer the possibility of delivering the growth factors directly to the target site. However, the fabrication of microspheres by traditional emulsion methods is largely variable due to the experimental procedure. We have developed a protocol using a commercially available microfluidic system that allows formation of tunable particle-size droplets loaded with growth factors. The methodology includes a guide for preparing an alginate-growth factors solution followed by the specific set-up needed for using the microfluidic system to form the microspheres. The pro- cedure also includes a unique post-crosslinking process without pH modification. These methods allow the preservation of integrity and bioactivity of the growth factors tested (BMP-6 and TGFβ -3) and their subsequent sustained delivery. • The protocol can be tuned to form particles of various sizes. • The gentle post-crosslinking process allows conformational integrity of various bioactive molecules.
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Australian Research Council