Encapsulated Cell Technology for the Delivery of Biologics to the Mouse Eye

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Many current therapeutics under development for diseases of the posterior pole of the eye are biologics. These drugs need to be administered frequently, typically via intravitreal injections. Encapsulated cells expressing the biologic of choice are becoming a tool for local protein production and release (e.g., via long-term drug delivery). In addition, encapsulation systems utilize permeable materials that allow diffusion of nutrients, waste, and therapeutic factors into and out of cells. This occurs while masking the cells from the host immune response, avoiding the need for suppression of the host immune system. This protocol describes the use of alginate as a polymer in microencapsulation coupled with the electrospray method as a microencapsulation technique. ARPE-19 cells, a spontaneously arising human RPE cell line, has been used in long-term cell therapy experiments due to its lifetime functionality, and it is used here for encapsulation and delivery of the capsules to mouse eyes. The manuscript summarizes the steps for cell microencapsulation, quality control, and ocular delivery.