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Open Access Publications from the University of California

General and Facile Coating of Single Cells via Mild Reduction

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Cell surface modification has been extensively studied to enhance the efficacy of cell therapy. Still, general accessibility and versatility are remaining challenges to meet the increasing demand for cell-based therapy. Herein, we present a facile and universal cell surface modification method that involves mild reduction of disulfide bonds in cell membrane protein to thiol groups. The reduced cells are successfully coated with biomolecules, polymers, and nanoparticles for an assortment of applications, including rapid cell assembly, in vivo cell monitoring, and localized cell-based drug delivery. No adverse effect on cellular morphology, viability, proliferation, and metabolism is observed. Furthermore, simultaneous coating with polyethylene glycol and dexamethasone-loaded nanoparticles facilitates enhanced cellular activities in mice, overcoming immune rejection.

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