The development of a good biocompatible matrix for immobilization of cells is very crucial for improving the performance of functional biohybrids. The synthesis of solid inorganic materials from alkoxide, aqueous and polyolmodified silanes routes, as well as the incorporation of organic polymers, are further areas being developed to improve the viability of encapsulated cells. This emerging field of material science has generated considerable and increasing interest during the past decade. Recent advances in the field involving biomaterials, biohybrids, and functional nanomaterials provided novel materials, which have gained the attention of the scientific community, Governments and industrial companies. Overall, this review is intended to give an overview on the current state of the art of the patents associated to the immobilization of whole living cells in sol-gel derived hybrid materials and to describe the major challenges to be addressed in the forthcoming years.