Innovation in Medicine

Developing alginate hydrogels that can support cell growth

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Close up of chemical microscope and medical research equipment in scientific laboratory. Liquid examination tool with glass lens and blood samples in vacutainers on professional desk

Encapsulating cells—both prokaryotic and eukaryotic—allows researchers to carry out experiments in hydrated environments over prolonged periods of time. However, cell growth under these conditions can exert a lot of pressure on the encapsulating shells, resulting in cell leakage. In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed modified alginate hydrogels that can endure the growth of bacteria, allowing them to synthesize important enzymes.

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