Cell surface engineering to control cellular interactions

Article English OPEN
Custódio, Catarina A. ; Mano, João F. (2016)
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1002/cnma.201600047
  • Subject: Cell membranes | Ligands | Liposomes | Nanoparticles | Surface engineering

Cell surface composition determines all interactions of the cell with its environment, thus cell functions such as adhesion, migration and cell–cell interactions can potentially be controlled by engineering and manipulating the cell membrane. Cell membranes present a rich repertoire of molecules, therefore a versatile ground for modification. However the complex and dynamic nature of the cell surface is also a major challenge for cell surface engineering that should also involve strategies compatible with cell viability. Cell surface engineering by selective chemical reactions or by the introduction of exogenous targeting ligands can be a powerful tool for engineering novel interactions and controlling cell function. In addition to chemical conjugation and modification of functional groups, ligands of interest to modify the surface of cells include recombinant proteins, liposomes or nanoparticles. Here, we review recent efforts to perform changes to cell surface composition. We focus on the engineering of the cell surface with biological, chemical or physical methods to modulate cell functions and control cell–cell and cell–microenvironment interactions. Potential applications of cell surface engineering are also discussed.
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