We have developed a theoretical model for the kinetics of release of living cells from composite shellac-cell microcapsules. The model describes the kinetics of cell release from the microcapsules triggered by: (i) pH change, which dissolves the shellac and (ii) the growth of the encapsulated cells, when placed in culture media. For pH triggered release of cells from the composite microcapsules, the rate constant of cell release depends on the swelling/dissolution rate of the shellac matrix and varies with the pH of the aqueous media. The model links the microcapsules disintegration time with the cell release rate constant. For growth triggered release of cells from the composite microcapsules, the cell release rate constant depends on concentration of nutrients in the culture media and the volume fraction of cells in the microcapsules. In a complementary experimental study we compare the release rate constants of cells from shellac-cell microcapsules at different values of pH in the aqueous media. This study may allow fine-tuning of the rate of cell release in a variety of encapsulated cell products, including cell implants, probiotics, and live vaccines.