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Bioinspired Encapsulation of Living Cells within Inorganic Nanoshells

In this chapter, we describe methods for encapsulating individual cells within inorganic nanoshells. Inspired by the biomineralization that occurs in nature, living cells have been encapsulated within various inorganic shells made of gold, calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, silica, or titania. The viability and metabolic activities of the cells were ensured by the careful selection of biocompatible materials and processes. Importantly, inorganic shells have been useful for enhancing long-term cell viability, controlling cell division, protecting the cytoplasm against foreign aggression, and functionalizing cell surfaces. This chapter focuses on the chemical reactions used to generate inorganic shells, categorized as direct reduction, in situ crystallization, and in situ condensation, and on the artificial control of the cellular behaviors conferred by the inorganic shells. The future prospects in the field of cell encapsulation within inorganic materials are also discussed.

Publication details

Print publication date
23 Jul 2014
Copyright year
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ePub eISBN

From the book series:
Smart Materials Series