Gel Encapsulation of Mel28 Cells Using DEX/E3 Water-Water System

Mariah Gallegos,
University of New Mexico

Mentor: Dr. Andrew Shreve, Department of Biomedical
Engineering; Dr. Nick Carroll, Department of Chemical Engineering

Gel encapsulation of Mel28 cells
using DEX/E3 water-water system

Aqueous two-phase systems using
protein and glucan have potential for droplet generations which in turn can be
used to encapsulate spherical cells with further implications for 3D biological
printing. The phase-separation being investigated includes a mixture of Dextran
and E3. This water-soluble solution phase separates once a critical
concentration of Dextran and E3 has been obtained. This process is
Thermodynamically driving which is temperature dependent. The fluid can then be
put into a capillary device in which droplets are formed. E3 acts as a gel
pursuer for the microdroplet. The outer microdroplet layer is protein-rich and
the inside contents is Dextran-rich. Using this type of water-water
interactions will allow for a cell to be encapsulated within the protein gel
with the use of crosslinking. This environment is cyto-friendly
and due to the cross-linkage creates more attractive mechanical properties.
Using E3 as the precursor, within the water-water system, will also create a
great platform for 3D printing biological due to the stability and degradation
of the protein. Thus, this research will be important towards mass printing biological
material.