Droplet-microfluidics towards the assembly of advanced building blocks in cell mimicry
Therapeutic cell mimicry is an approach in nanomedicine aiming at substituting for missing or lost cellular functions employing nature-inspired concepts. Pioneered decades ago, only now is this technology empowered with the arsenal of nanotechnological tools and ready to provide radically new solutions such as assembling synthetic organelles and artificial cells. One of these tools is droplet microfluidics (D-μF), which provides the flexibility to generate cargo-loaded particles with tunable size and shape in a fast and reliable manner, an essential requirement in cell mimicry. This minireview aims at outlining the developments in D-μF from the past four years focusing on the assembly of nanoparticles, Janus-shaped and other non-spherical particles as well as their loading with biological payloads.