Bachelor Assignments

Single cell encapsulation using copper-free click-chemistry

Single cell encapsulation using copper-free click-chemistry

Osteoarthritis is associated with synovitis. One way to decrease the inflammation in the knee joint is by injection of MSCs which secrete anti-inflammatory factors. Several clinical trials using MSCs have already demonstrated positive outcomes in term of disease progression. Although these treatments are very attractive, they are associated with limited efficacy because of the rapid clearance of the MCSs from the synovium. Single cell encapsulation of MSCs increases their retention time. However, current techniques for single cell encapsulation are slow, have low yields and are not user friendly. Single cell encapsulation using copper-free click-chemistry can overcome these problems. Functionalization of the cell membrane with a reactive group and subsequent polymerization can lead to the formation of a hydrogel layer on the cell membrane.

In this assignment you are going to incubate cells with 2 different forms reactive groups. You are going to determine the difference on the viability of the cells after incubation. Subsequently you are going to form a polymer layer around the cells and determine the presence, size and characteristics of this layer.

Main question
Can we encapsulate cells in polymer by using copper-free click chemistry?
Sub questions

  1. What is the difference in cellular viability after incubation with the 2 reactive groups?
  2. What is the viability of cells after mannose incubation and polymerization?
  3. Prove that the polymer layer forms by staining the polumer


  • Jurkat and MSC cell culture
  • Live/Dead
  • Metabolic assays
  • FACS + PI staining
  • Immunohistochemistry

Daily supervisor: Ir. Lisanne Karbaat

If you are interested in this assignment, please contact: Dr. Janneke Alers, contact person for all DBE assignments