Cell-directed assembly of bio/nano interfaces - A new scheme for cell immobilization

Helen K. Baca, Eric Carnes, Seema Singh, Carlee Ashley, Deanna Lopez, C. Jeffrey Brinker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


When lipid-directed assembly of silicic acid precursors is conducted in the presence of living cells, the cells intervene, surrounding themselves with a fluid, multilayered lipid vesicle that interfaces coherently with an ordered silica mesophase. This bio/nano interface is unique in that its uniform nanostructure prevents excessive drying of water, maintaining cell viability, yet provides accessibility of the cell surface to small molecules. In comparison to existing immobilization schemes, such as encapsulation within sol-gel matrices, we show this interface to form by an active interplay between the living cell and surrounding matrix, which we refer to as cell-directed assembly (CDA). Importantly and perhaps uniquely, CDA creates a localized nanostructured microenvironment within which three-dimensional chemical gradients are established and maintained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)836-845
Number of pages10
JournalAccounts of Chemical Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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