Encapsulation of Cells in Agarose
What is agarose?
Agarose is a naturally occurring polysaccharide hydrogel, extracted from certain types of red seaweed. It has excellent biocompatibility, thermo-reversible gel behavior, is non-toxic and low-cost, all of which make it a versatile and popular material for life-sciences applications .
Cell-containing agarose beads can be used in the following application:
- Florescence activated cell sorting (FACS)
- Cell secretion studies
- Cell-cell interactions
- Microbial cell culture
Encapsulation of cells in agarose on the Nadia Innovate
Agarose’s spherical scaffold structure and ability to allow the diffusion of nutrients and gases make it an ideal system for naturalistic mammalian and non-mammalian live cell studies, given its many similarities to the native physiological environment of living cells (4). Single cells encapsulated in agarose can, therefore, be maintained for extended periods of time within these individual three-dimensional microenvironments and used in various research including single cell experiments.
The Nadia Innovate allows users to encapsulate single cells into agarose spheres for the purpose of studying cell secretions or performing FACS, among others. More than one cell can also be encapsulated into one droplet to enable the study of cell-cell interactions Download our application note for more details.
Agarose encapsulation on the Nadia Innovate in action
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- Smith BH, Gazda LS, Conn BL, Jain K, Asina S, Levine DM, et al. Three-Dimensional Culture of Mouse Renal Carcinoma Cells in Agarose Macrobeads Selects for a Subpopulation of Cells with Cancer Stem Cell or Cancer Progenitor Properties. Cancer Res. 2011 Feb 1;71(3):716–24.
- Li Y, Kumacheva E. Hydrogel microenvironments for cancer spheroid growth and drug screening. Sci Adv. 2018 Apr 1;4(4):eaas8998.
- Joseph JS, Malindisa ST, Ntwasa M. Two-Dimensional (2D) and Three-Dimensional (3D) Cell Culturing in Drug Discovery. In: Cell Culture [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2019 Sep 19]. Available from: https://www.intechopen.com/books/cell-culture/two-dimensional-2d-and-three-dimensional-3d-cell-culturing-in-drug-discovery