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Cell encapsulation: Promise and progress

In cell encapsulation, transplanted cells are protected from immune rejection by an artificial, semipermeable membrane, potentially allowing transplantation (allo- or xenotransplantation) without the need for immunosuppression. Yet, despite some promising results in animal studies, the field has not lived up to expectations, and clinical products based on encapsulated cell technology continue to elude the scientific community. This commentary discusses the reasons for this, summarizes recent progress in the field and outlines what is needed to bring this technology closer to clinical application.

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Figure 1: Cell microencapsulation.

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Correspondence to José Luis Pedraz.

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Orive, G., Hernández, R., Gascón, A. et al. Cell encapsulation: Promise and progress. Nat Med 9, 104–107 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm0103-104

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