Send to

Choose Destination
Small. 2013 Jan 28;9(2):178-86. doi: 10.1002/smll.201202174. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Artificial spores: cytocompatible encapsulation of individual living cells within thin, tough artificial shells.

Author information

Department of Chemistry Education, Korea National University of Education, Chungbuk 363-791, Korea.


Cells are encapsulated individually within thin and tough shells in a cytocompatible way, by mimicking the structure of bacterial endospores that survive under hostile conditions. The 3D 'cell-in-shell' structures-coined as 'artificial spores'-enable modulation and control over cellular metabolism, such as control of cell division, resistance to external stresses, and surface-functionalizability, providing a useful platform for applications, including cell-based sensors, cell therapy, regenerative medicine, as well as for fundamental studies on cellular metabolism at the single-cell level and cell-to-cell communications. This Concept focuses on chemical approaches to single-cell encapsulation with artificial shells for creating artificial spores, including cross-linked layer-by-layer assembly, bioinspired mineralization, and mussel-inspired polymerization. The current status and future prospects of this emerging field are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center