Direct Deposition of Nanomaterials onto Cells
Nanomaterials and nanoscale tools have been successfully utilized in diverse biological systems over the past decades. Integrating nanomaterials with living cells attracts considerable interest because it may be possible to provide new functions, control cell phenotype and fate, and also to create cell–nanomaterial hybrids with desirable properties. In this chapter we describe strategies and methods for the direct deposition of nanomaterials onto cells for extracellular surface functionalisation. We emphasize the importance of the cell surface properties and their interactions with nanomaterials. We also discuss the different approaches to deposit nanomaterials onto cells by either aiming at a homogeneous coating of the cells with different types of nanomaterials or ligand-specific binding of nanoparticles to extracellular biomolecules. The importance of the cell viability during the process of nanomaterials deposition, which depends on the field of application, is discussed. We also present some of the recent studies focused on the development of new smart materials for cell surface functionalization, fabrication of 3D nanoparticle–cell hybrids, and utilization of nanomodified cells in emerging technologies.