Encapsulating Macroorganisms

In addition to a number of microorganisms, we have encapsulated several macro-organisms. The eggs of the commercially important insect pests Plutella xylostella and Helicoverpa zea were successfully encapsulated. The sterilized eggs were encapsulated in an alginate macrodroplet and were placed in an incubator (Fig. 11). A similar number of unsterilized and unencapsulated eggs were placed in the same incubator. Both groups of eggs hatched in similar numbers. This is a clear demonstration of the potential of the macrodroplet to encapsulate macro as well as microorganisms.

The insect eggs can be used in the coencapsulation assay format. It is not difficult to imagine screening a combinatorial chemistry library, synthesized on

Figure 11 Growth of encapsulated Helicoverpa zea from eggs to larvae (right to left, bottom to top).

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