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Trends Biotechnol. 2013 Apr;31(4):258-67. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2013.01.012. Epub 2013 Mar 13.

Exterior design: strategies for redecorating the bacterial surface with small molecules.

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Department of Cell Biology, Yale School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Recombinant techniques for expressing heterologous proteins and sugars on the surface of bacteria have been known since the 1980s, and have proven useful in a variety of settings from biocatalysis to vaccinology. The past decade has also seen the emergence of novel methods that allow modification of bacterial surfaces with small non-biological compounds. Such technologies enable researchers to harness the unique properties of synthetic materials on a live bacterial platform, opening the door to an exciting new set of applications. Here we review strategies for bacterial surface display and describe how they have been applied thus far. We believe that chemical surface display holds great potential for advancing research in basic bacteriology and applied fields of biotechnology and biomedicine.

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