Advances in the slow freezing cryopreservation of microencapsulated cells

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Over the past few decades, the use of cell microencapsulation technology has been promoted for a wide range of applications as sustained drug delivery systems or as cells containing biosystems for regenerative medicine. However, difficulty in their preservation and storage has limited their availability to healthcare centers. Because the preservation in cryogenic temperatures poses many biological and biophysical challenges and that the technology has not been well understood, the slow cooling cryopreservation, which is the most used technique worldwide, has not given full measure of its full potential application yet. This review will discuss the different steps that should be understood and taken into account to preserve microencapsulated cells by slow freezing in a successful and simple manner. Moreover, it will review the slow freezing preservation of alginate-based microencapsulated cells and discuss some recommendations that the research community may pursue to optimize the preservation of microencapsulated cells, enabling the therapy translate from bench to the clinic.HIGHLIGHTSCurrently slow freezing represents the most appropriate storage method of microencapsulated cells.CPA solution, sample preparation, cooling, thawing and CPA removal must be carefully selected.Several microencapsulated cell types have been successfully cryopreserved in small volumes.Large volumes cryopreservation of microencapsulated cells still needs optimization.

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