DNA-templated synthesis of biomimetic cell wall for nanoencapsulation and protection of mammalian cells

Peng Shi, Nan Zhao, James Coyne, Yong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Mammalian cells are different from plant and microbial cells, having no exterior cell walls for protection. Environmental assaults can easily damage or destroy mammalian cells. Thus, the ability to develop a biomimetic cell wall (BCW) on their plasma membrane as a shield can advance various applications. Here we demonstrate the synthesis of BCW with a framing template and a crosslinked matrix for shielding live mammalian cells. The framing template is a supramolecular DNA structure. The crosslinked matrix is a polyelectrolyte complex made of alginate and polylysine. As the entire procedure of BCW synthesis is strictly operated under physiological conditions, BCW-covered mammalian cells can maintain high bioactivity. More importantly, the data show that BCW can shield live mammalian cells from not only physical assaults but also biological assaults. Thus, this study has successfully demonstrated the synthesis of BCW on live mammalian cells with great potential of shielding them from environmental assaults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2223
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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