Friday, April 2, 2010

What are the techniques of Interfacial Polymerization & Photo Polymerization

Interfacial polymerization is a method developed for encapsulation of mammalian cells. Cells are coextruded with a generally hydrophobic polymer solution through a coaxial needle assembly. Shear and mechanical forces due to a coaxial air/liquid stream flowing past the tip of the needle assembly causes the hydrogel to envelop the cells and fall off. The encapsulated cells fall subsequently through a series of oil phases, which cause precipitation of the hydrogel around the cell. This process, based on membrane phase inversion, is used primarily when encapsulating cells with hydrogels from the polyacrylate family. Polyacrylates are well tolerated by the host’s immune system and have exceptional hydrolytic stability. A potential disadvantage of this technique is that organic solvents, which may be harmful to living cells, are used to precipitate the hydrogel. To eliminate the use of organic solvents, complex coacervation was developed using acidic and basic water-soluble polymers. Briefly, a droplet containing one of these polymers and cells is added to the other polymer. A thin membrane encapsulates the droplet due to ionic interactions of the two polymers. The major disadvantage of this method is that the capsules may be unstable due to high water uptake in the capsule wall. Modifications have been made to better control permeability and stability of the hydrogel capsules.

Photopolymerization has also been used to conformally coat hydrogel capsules to:

1) Improve their biocompatibility and

2) Reduce the volume to a minimum in order to reduce implant size, a critical issue if an internal organ is the intended transplantation site.

Photopolymerization permits gelation of the polymer membrane in the presence of dissolved oxygen, which is helpful for cell survival during the encapsulation process. The advantage of this technique is that the membrane is directly in contact with the encapsulated cells. Minimizing diffusion distance for oxygen, nutrients, and cell products is important for eliminating necrosis at the center of the capsule12 and for improving therapeutic efficiency.

Tags: Bio Technology, Bio Genetics, Polymerization

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