Formulation and stability evaluation of 3D alginate beads potentially useful for cumulus-oocyte complexes culture

Rossella Dorati, Ida Genta, Michela Ferrari, Giulia Vigone, Valeria Merico, Silvia Garagna, Maurizio Zuccotti*, Bice Conti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Ovarian follicle encapsulation in synthetic or natural matrixes based on biopolymers is potentially a promising approach to in vitro maturation (IVM) process, since it maintains follicle 3D organisation by preventing its flattening and consequent disruption of gap junctions, preserving the functional relationship between oocyte and companion follicle cells. The aim of the work was to optimise physico-chemical parameters of alginate microcapsules for perspective IVM under 3D environments. On this purpose alginate and cross-linking agent concentrations were investigated. Alginate concentration between 0.75% and 0.125% w/w and Mg2+, Ba2+, Ca2+at concentration between 100 and 20 mM were tested. Follicle encapsulation was obtained by on purpose modified diffusion setting gelation technique, and evaluated together with beads, chemical and mechanical stability in standard and stressing conditions. Beads permeability was tested towards albumin, fetuin, pyruvate, glucose, pullulan. Results demonstrated that 0.25% alginate cross-linked in 100 mM CaCl2 beads is suitable to follicle encapsulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microencapsulation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomaterials
  • alginate
  • biotechnology
  • cell encapsulation
  • cross-linking
  • mechanical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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