Cell membrane engineering with synthetic materials: Applications in cell spheroids, cellular glues and microtissue formation.


UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK. Electronic address: [Email]


Biologically inspired materials with tunable bio- and physicochemical properties provide an essential framework to actively control and support cellular behavior. Cell membrane remodeling approaches benefit from the advances in polymer science and bioconjugation methods, which allow for the installation of un-/natural molecules and particles on the cells' surface. Synthetically remodeled cells have superior properties and are under intense investigation in various therapeutic scenarios as cell delivery systems, bio-sensing platforms, injectable biomaterials and bioinks for 3D bioprinting applications. In this review article, recent advances in the field of cell surface remodeling via bio-chemical means and the potential biomedical applications of these emerging cell hybrids are discussed. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Recent advances in bioconjugation methods, controlled/living polymerizations, microfabrication techniques and 3D printing technologies have enabled researchers to probe specific cellular functions and cues for therapeutic and research purposes through the formation of cell spheroids and polymer-cell chimeras. This review article highlights recent non-genetic cell membrane engineering strategies towards the fabrication of cellular ensembles and microtissues with interest in 3D in vitro modeling, cell therapeutics and tissue engineering. From a wider perspective, these approaches may provide a roadmap for future advances in cell therapies which will expedite the clinical use of cells, thereby improving the quality and accessibility of disease treatments.


3D cell culture,Cell aggregation,Cell membrane engineering,Cellular glues,Spheroids,

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