Hydrogel Patches on Live Cells through Surface-Mediated Polymerization

Pei Jung Wu, Jacob L. Lilly, Roberto Arreaza, Brad J. Berron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Many naturally occurring cells possess an intrinsic ability to cross biological barriers that block conventional drug delivery, and these cells offer a possible mode of active transport across the blood-brain barrier or into the core of tumor masses. While many technologies for the formation of complete, nanoparticle-loaded coatings on cells exist, a complete coating on the cell surface would disrupt the interaction of cells with their environments. To address this issue, cell surface patches that partially cover cell surfaces might provide a superior approach for cell-mediated therapeutic delivery. The goal of this study is to establish a simplified approach to producing polymeric patches of arbitrary shapes on a live cell via surface-mediated photopolymerization. Cell surfaces were nonspecifically labeled with eosin, and polyethylene (glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) coatings were directed to specific sites using 530 nm irradiation through a chrome-coated photomask. These coatings may entrap drug-loaded or imaging particles. The extent of nonspecific formation of PEGDA hydrogel coatings increased with irradiation time, light intensity, and initiating species; 40 mW/cm2 irradiation for 5 min delivered high-resolution patterns on the surface of A549 cells, and these cells remained viable for 48 h postpatterning with fluorescent nanoparticle-loaded coatings. This work first demonstrated the feasibility of photopatterning polymer patches directly on the surface of cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6778-6784
Number of pages7
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 11 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Robert R. McLeod's group (University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO) for guidance with respect to the irradiation system for PEGDA photopolymerization. This work was partially supported by Grant R01 HL127682-01 and by the National Science Foundation under Award CBET-1351531.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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