There is growing demand for the precise remote control of cellular functions in various fields. Herein, a method for caging mammalian cells by coating with photodegradable protein-polymer hybrid shells to photo-control their functions without genetic engineering is reported. A layer-by-layer assembly of photocleavable synthetic materials through biotin-streptavidin (SA) binding was employed for cell coating. The cell surfaces were first biotinylated with photocleavable biotinylated poly(ethylene glycol)(PEG)-lipid and then coated by repeatedly layering SA and micelles of the PEG-lipid and photocleavable biotinylated four-arm PEG. The cell extension and adhesion were suppressed with the shells and then triggered with the degradation of the shells by light exposure. Macrophage phagocytosis was also stopped by caging with the shells and restarted by light-guided uncaging. This study provides the first proof of principle that cellular functions can be remotely controlled by steric hinderance of cell surfaces with photodegradable materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry