3D culture of bone-derived cells immobilised in alginate following light-triggered gelation

Alan M. Smith, Jonathan J. Harris, Richard M. Shelton, Yvonne Perrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Photoreactive liposomes have been exploited as a means of developing 3D tissue constructs. Liposomes formulated using the photosensitive lipid 1,2-bis(4-(n-butyl)phenylazo-4'-phenylbutyroyl)phosphatidylcholine (Bis Azo PC), which undergoes conformational change on stimulation with long wavelength ultraviolet light, were prepared with entrapped CaCl(2) before being incorporated into a 4% alginate solution. It was shown that stimulation of the photosensitive lipid using a light emitting diode (LED) (peak emission at 385 nm, dose equivalent to 9 mJ/cm(2)) caused the release of liposome-entrapped CaCl(2), resulting in cross-linking of the alginate solution and immobilisation of bone-derived cells over a range of seeding densities, approximately 97% of which remained viable for periods of up to 14 days in culture. Entrapment volumes of a variety of liposome types were evaluated and interdigitating fusion vesicles were identified as having the highest payload (24%), however the inclusion of cholesterol as a means of shifting Bis Azo PC sensitivity into the visible light wavelengths resulted in an approximately 10-fold reduction in calcium entrapment. This application of light-sensitised liposomes offers the potential to create complex tissue engineering substrates containing cells immobilised in precise locations, in contrast with substrates onto which cells are seeded post-production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2007


  • alginates
  • bone marrow cells
  • cell culture techniques
  • cell survival
  • drug carriers
  • gels
  • glucuronic acid
  • hexuronic acids
  • liposomes
  • photic stimulation
  • rats


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