Poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic acid) Polymers for Cell Encapsulation
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Polyanions based on poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic acid) were investigated as materials for cell encapsulation. These water-soluble polyanions having molecular masses ranging from 20 to 1980 kDa were prepared by functionalization of poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-maleic anhydride) with 5-aminofluorescein and/or α-methoxy-ω-amino-poly(ethylene glycol), followed by base hydrolysis of the residual anhydride groups to form the corresponding poly(methyl vinyl ether-alt-sodium maleate). Their potential to replace alginate both in the core and, in particular, the outer shell of calcium alginate-poly(L-lysine)-alginate (APA) capsules was determined using confocal fluorescence microscopy, osmotic pressure tests, permeability studies, protein binding and cell viability assays. These polymers were shown to be able to replace the outer layer of alginate, forming more resilient capsule shells. The resulting capsules showed similar permeability and resistance to bovine serum albumin binding, as well as superior viability for encapsulated cells, when compared to standard APA capsules. In addition, these polymers showed promise for use as functional additives to the capsule cores.
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