NK-Cell-Encapsulated Porous Microspheres via Microfluidic Electrospray for Tumor Immunotherapy

Dan Wu, Yunru Yu, Cheng Zhao, Xin Shou, Yun Piao, Xin Zhao, Yuanjin Zhao, Shuqi Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Immunotherapy has recently garnered significant research interest in the field of clinical cancer management. The potential of tumor immunotherapy has been demonstrated for targeting a variety of tumors, both in vivo and in vitro, yielding some remarkable therapeutic effects. Herein, inspired by the stem cell niche, we developed a scale-up approach to generating porous microspheres with encapsulated natural killer (NK) cells via microfluidic electrospray for in situ tumor immunotherapy. The generated microspheres contained porous microstructures with tunable morphologies because of versatile but precise fluid control in the microfluidic electrospray system. NK-92MI cells encapsulated in porous microspheres were protected from the outer complex environment, allowing for improved proliferation and functionality. As observed, perforin and granzymes were sustainably secreted from the encapsulated NK-92MI cells, which exhibited robust killing effects on tumors both in vitro and in vivo. With continual proliferation, NK-92MI cells budded from the surface of porous microspheres and migrated into the surrounding residual tumor tissues, further destroying tumor cells. More importantly, no side effects owing to the native host immune system were observed by injecting the NK-92MI cell-encapsulated microspheres into tumors in vivo. Therefore, the NK-cell-encapsulated porous microspheres show great potential for tumor immunotherapy, offering a robust and attractive treatment option for cancer patient management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33716-33724
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2019


  • hydrogel
  • immunotherapy
  • microfluidics
  • natural killer cell
  • tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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